Exclusive Interview with Mr. Jitendra Tyagi, MD, Uttarakhand Metro Rail Corporation Ltd.

Environmental friendly Mass Rapid Transit system in various cities is the need of hour so that carbon footprint can be minimized.

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Shri. Jitendra Tyagi, MD, UKMRC
Shri. Jitendra Tyagi, MD, UKMRC
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Metro Rail News conducted an email interview with Mr. Jitendra Tyagi, MD, Uttarakhand Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. In the interview Mr. Tyagi talked about the complex mobility plan of the Uttarakhand Metro Rail Project.

Managing director (MD) of Uttarakhand Metro Rail (UKMRC), Mr. Jitendra Tyagi has over 35 years of experience in the railway and metro sector. He is a 1983 batch officer of the Indian Railways Services of Engineers. As MD of UKMRC, his responsibility is to lead and oversee the planning, construction and operations of the upcoming Dehradun, Haridwar and Rishikesh metro rail projects. Prior to UKMRC, Tyagi has held various positions at the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), where he had a 13-year stint. Thereafter, he took charge as director (works) in DMRC and was involved in the completion of several corridors of Phase III of the Delhi metro. Along with this, he also oversaw the implementation of the Jaipur and Kochi metro rail projects also, as director.

Here are the edited excerpts: –

In what ways Uttarakhand Metro Rail Project is different from other rail projects in the country. Can you brief upon the comprehensive mobility plan of UMRP?

Let me first give you a brief about the Comprehensive Mobility Plan. We got the CMP prepared in the year 2019. CMP is a vision document covering all futuristic needs of mobility in the area it is prepared for. Dehradun, Rishikesh, Haridwar and Roorkee are 4 main urban developments in the Western plain area of Uttarakhand. The entire region has tremendous scope of urbanisation as it provides great employment opportunities, education as well as health care to public of Uttarakhand.  In view of this, entire region has been notified as the “Dehradun-Haridwar-Rishikesh Metropolitan area”. The CMP has addressed all mobility needs, including that of goods movement in the entire metropolitan area. As far as mobility of people is concerned, It has classified the mobility need of people in three categories mainly first order, second order and third order mobility corridors. First-order having the highest mobility requirement. It has identified following first order corridors in the metropolitan area:-

S.no.CorridorsRoute length(in kms.)
1ISBT to Kandoli 11.389
2FRI to Raipur13.975
3Haridwar to Rishikesh 34.151
4Vidhan Sabha/Rispana to Nepali Farm34.517
Total 94.032

In the first phase, we are taking up the two corridors in Dehradun having a total length of 23 kms. & 25 stations. Initially we planned Metrolite (LRT) on all the corridors but after Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, Govt. of India issued standard specifications for Metro Neo, we decided to implement this system on both the corridors of Dehradun. This decision to adopt Metro Neo is mainly based on economics, it being cheaper than Metrolite. Metro Neo is different than normal Metro system as it is a rubber tyre based system and can negotiate steeper gradients (upto 10-12%) which is suitable for this metropolitan area. Metro Neo system in Dehradun will run entirely on an elevated viaduct.

Besides being the ‘Land of Gods’ the Devbhumi, Uttarakhand also is a strategically important state sharing borders with Nepal & China. How are you planning to develop a modern, futuristic transport system for the state addressing a number of peculiarities Uttarakhand holds for itself?

From strategic point of view, two main transport systems are important. One good road network and second rail connectivity. UKMRC is mandated to develop mainly Urban transport system and therefore has no direct role in this aspect. However ‘All Weather Road’ project has served the strategic connectivity also besides connecting Char Dhams. Railway line between Rishikesh to Karnprayag is already under construction which will also help the better connectivity to various parts of Uttarakhand.

Uttarakhand is a fast-growing state in the country. The per capita income of the people of the state is also improving significantly. What in your opinion can be the best transport system for the state eyeing the immense tourism opportunities that can be developed on a circuit basis amidst tough terrains and a very diverse landscape?

For Uttarakhand, and infact for any state, one transport system alone cannot serve the purpose. You have to have a combination of various transport systems like Rail, Road, Metro, Ropeway etc. Uttarakhand has immense possibility of tourism. Many beautiful places can attract large number of tourist if these are well connected. As Uttarakhand is predominantly a hilly state, Ropeway can be one of the most suitable system to connect remote places having potential of tourism. Infact funicular system could also be a good choice for some of the places as this system itself is a tourist attraction. Infact UKMRC has also been given two Ropeway projects one between Har-ki-Pauri in Haridwar to Chandi devi temple and the other between Rishikesh to Neelkanth Mahadev temple. We are working on these projects. 

Which other major cities UKMRC is planning to develop and connect through metro or light transit systems in the state other than Dehradun, Rishikesh and Haridwar in the first phase?

As already explained earlier UKMRC plans to take-up Haridwar-Rishikesh Metro Neo project in Phase-2 and connecting this system with Dehradun in Phase-3. Besides this, we are also planning to develop Personalized Rapid Transit System (PRT), commonly known as POD Taxi, in the city of Haridwar on second order transit corridors identified in CMP.

Char Dham yatra, strategic rail links, and all-weather connectivity to the state are some of the priority works of the present government at the centre for the state. To what extent different works have been accomplished. Are you meeting the deadline?

As ‘All Weather Road’ to connect Char Dhams and Railway project between Rishikesh to Karnprayag are being looked after by other agencies and not UKMRC, it will not be correct on my part to comment. All I can say is that all these projects in the State are progressing quite well.

What would be your message to our readers?

I would like to convey that entire world is going through many crises. Covid-19 pandemic has already seriously affected the world economy. Russia-Ukraine war is another crises, the world is facing and another one is climate change. Climate change has been an area of serious concern for many decades. Lot has been done but lot more is needed in order to save Earth and keep it habitable for our future generations. In this regard, environmental friendly Mass Rapid Transit system in various cities is the need of hour so that carbon footprint can be minimized. We have to understand that use of private vehicles can be reduced only when public transport system is at least equally comfortable as private vehicle, if not better. Last but not the least, we should not leave any stone unturned to achieve the objective of ‘Aatmnirbhar Bharat’ set by our honourable Prime Minister and also make all out efforts to make India a net zero country which is also the vision & goal set by honourable Prime Minister.

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