An IAS officer of the 1986 batch, Dr. I P Gautam, an exceptional bureaucrat who worked really hard for Ahmedabad, retired as the principal secretary of urban development. An exclusive interview with Dr. I. P. Gautam, MD, GMRC shared an overview of the work going, last mile connectivity and interesting initiatives planned by the officials for commuters. Here is an excerpt from the interview:
Metro Rail News: Ahmedabad Metro started its first trial run on February 6th, 2019. When will it be commercially open to the general public?
Metro Rail News: With other metro starting
Dr. I. P. Gautam: The first stretch which is now open, i.e., from Apparel Park to Vastral Gam does not have any major origination and destination. Thus, the focus is on attracting people to get them into the habit of using public transport. For this purpose, low fares, in fact the lowest in India, i.e. Rs.5/- for 2.5 kms range and Rs.10/- for 2.5 kms to 7.5 kms distance have been introduced.
Other than this, some of the features are:
- Some Metro stations are in congested & fully developed / CBD areas
- MEGA is exploring ways to create space around metro stations for traffic circulation & parking
- Joint arrangements with upcoming developments near Metro stations
- Ground floor area of properties is utilized for Metro parking & traffic circulation
- Property Development opportunities such as,
- CASE-1 (SABARMATI RLY STATION)
- Off-road station located at end the of Ahmedabad CBD
- Provision has been made in station structure for future development of 3 floors of commercial property development.
- CASE-2 (GUJARAT UNIVERSITY)
- Station rail level is higher due to the flyover
- Extra floor provision has been made to be used for property development.
Metro Rail News: Could you throw some light on offering last mile connectivity to riders like other metro services are offering to passengers?
Dr. I. P. Gautam: Ahmedabad Gandhinagar Metro Rail has followed network approach
Metro Rail News: Could you brief about the phase II project status and challenges. What precautions are taken to safeguard the monuments, if any?
Dr. I. P. Gautam: Ahmedabad Gandhinagar Metro Rail Phase – II has been approved by the Central Cabinet Ministry. We don’t need to take any precautions for monuments in Phase-II because there are no monuments falling into the vicinity of Phase-II alignment.
Metro Rail News: How prepared is GMRC in terms of dealing with monsoon? Will work be on hold or have you taken some steps to ensure work goes on according to the plan?
Dr. I. P. Gautam: We have Monsoon Preparedness Team and Machinery to ensure that the work goes as per the plan. GMRC team and Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) team stays on alert at AMC control room for
Metro Rail News: What is the status of Surat Metro Rail project?
Dr. I. P. Gautam: Detailed Project Report (DPR) has been submitted by DMRC for Surat Metro Rail Project Phase-I. Government Gujarat has already approved it and forwarded it to Central Government for further approval. Surat Metro Rail project Phase – I has been approved by Public Investment Board (PIB) and is awaiting Cabinet sanction.
Metro Rail News: What interesting features will GMRC offer to its commuters?
Dr. I. P. Gautam: ‘CATC’ (Continuous Automatic Train Control System) Based On “CBTC” (Communication Based Train Control System) which includes ATP (Automatic Train Protection), ATO (Automatic Train Operation) and ATS (Automatic Train Supervision) Sub-Systems using Radio Communication between Track Side and Train
Metro Rail News: Can you share some features of the coaches and how different will they be from other metro coaches?
Dr. I. P. Gautam: Integrated System with Fiber Optic Cable, SCADA, Train Radio, PSD System,
Train Information System, Control Telephones and Centralized Clock System
Automatic Fare Collection System with POM and Smart Card
Metro Rail News: How does GMRC plan to educate its riders of travelling in metro rail?
Dr. I. P. Gautam: As of now GMRC has put up signage and posters at different locations of station to guide passengers/commuter of metro rail, and GMRC operation team staff is available at the station area to guide passengers commuting in Ahmedabad Metro Rail. There are news articles and ads about the metro alignment, ticket charges, technology and all timely updates to make citizens aware about the system and technology adopted by Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project.
Metro Rail News: Do you think once metro becomes operational, traffic situation will improve?
Dr. I. P. Gautam: Yes, definitely traffic situation will improve in the Ahmedabad city. Rapid urbanization in Ahmedabad has resulted in an exponential increase in vehicle population in our city roads. This has resulted in traffic jams, and major air and sound pollution. A well running Metro Rail can be a major contributor for reducing carbon emissions in Ahmedabad city.
Metro Rail News: We would also like to know how our magazine can help in promoting and encouraging metro transport among common public. Do share what edit pieces can help in motivating people to opt for metro over other mean of transport?
Dr. I. P. Gautam: We would like you to highlight few points to motivate citizen to travel in Public Transport,
- Metro will solve future Traffic problems
- Metro Rail system is a relief for city commuters
- Metro Rail will certainly improve health of city and citizens through reducing carbon emissions and a major reduction in air and noise pollution
- It will make safer travel for woman, all the stations and coaches will be under CCTV surveillance
- Now travelling in public transport will be much more comfortable
- There is a huge potential of growth along the Metro corridors
This interview published in our March 2019 issue.
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