Metro Rail News https://www.metrorailnews.in Chronicle updates on development of metro rail projects in India Sat, 23 Sep 2017 19:30:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 https://i0.wp.com/www.metrorailnews.in/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/cropped-favicon.png?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Metro Rail News https://www.metrorailnews.in 32 32 83170168 FICCI Smart Mobility Conference 2017 | Nov. 20, 2017 | Federation House, New Delhi, India https://www.metrorailnews.in/ficci-smart-mobility-conference-2017-nov-20-2017-federation-house-new-delhi-india/ https://www.metrorailnews.in/ficci-smart-mobility-conference-2017-nov-20-2017-federation-house-new-delhi-india/#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 18:04:20 +0000 https://www.metrorailnews.in/?p=10771 Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in association with Metro Rail News (an initiative of Symbroj Media Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi) is going to organise the first edition of Smart Mobility Conference on 20 November 2017 at Federation House, Tansen Marg, New Delhi. A well-knit and coordinated system of transport plays an […]

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Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in association with Metro Rail News (an initiative of Symbroj Media Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi) is going to organise the first edition of Smart Mobility Conference on 20 November 2017 at Federation House, Tansen Marg, New Delhi. A well-knit and coordinated system of transport plays an important role in the sustained growth of a country. Optimizing e-mobility use for everyday life with greater thrust on use of public transport, metro solutions and waterways as means for mass transit could significantly reduce energy demand and carbon emissions in the country.
The Conference focuses on ‘smart mobility’ solutions that enable faster, greener and cheaper transportation of people and freight while reducing congestion. Through focused sessions we aim to explore a future urban mobility ecosystem that delivers seamless intermodal transportation connectivity and highlights economic avenues for investment.
It will bring together Central and State Government officials, policy makers, city planners, government institutions, multi-laterals, financial institutions/VC’s, academia and Industry/ Start-ups on a common platform to deliberate on key developments and challenges for smart transport infrastructure in India and the way forward.
Key Highlights
  • Integrated multi-modal transportation for connecting cities
  • Optimizing Electric-Mobility Solutions & Green Technologies for Mass urban Transit/ City’s Sustainability
  • Development of Urban Metro Rail for Smart Urban Transportation
  • Strategic Mobility Planning and Project Design for Urban Transport
  • Broad technology portfolio for interconnected and intelligent transportation system
  • Internet of Things and Big Data applications in transport
  • Green strategies for sustainability
  • Smart parking solutions
Why Attend
  • India’s largest and most comprehensive event on smart transportation
  • Learn global best practices & partnership strategies and policy updates through interactive sessions, panel discussions and round-table debates
  • Influential presentations/ speeches by key policy makers and industry experts
  • Identify new strategies and technologies for challenges & opportunities facing the sector
  • Network with policymakers, business leaders and market experts to forge new partnerships & gain competitive advantage

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsorship Level Amount (INR) Sponsorship Level Amount (INR)
Platinum Sponsor 1500000.00 Lunch Sponsor 500000.00
Gold Sponsor 1000000.00 Delegate KIT Sponsor 300000.00
Silver Sponsor 700000.00 Badge & Lanyard Sponsor 700000.00

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Aakriti Arora/Ms. Manasi Lohumi
M: +91-9654532981
Tel: 011-23487457/23765082
Fax: 011-23320714
E-mail: infra@ficci.com

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Lucknow Metro | MD Kumar Keshav shares Success Mantra to IIM Lucknow students https://www.metrorailnews.in/lucknow-metro-md-kumar-keshav-shares-success-mantra-iim-lucknow-students/ https://www.metrorailnews.in/lucknow-metro-md-kumar-keshav-shares-success-mantra-iim-lucknow-students/#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 14:39:46 +0000 https://www.metrorailnews.in/?p=10763 Lucknow: Shri Kumar Keshav, Managing Director, Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) today shared the “Success Mantras” of Metro Project execution to the students at the Indian Institute of Management- Lucknow post the successful inauguration of Lucknow Metro  services on 5thSeptember, 2017. He said “the success of any project lies in proper planning, time management, strict […]

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Lucknow: Shri Kumar Keshav, Managing Director, Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) today shared the “Success Mantras” of Metro Project execution to the students at the Indian Institute of Management- Lucknow post the successful inauguration of Lucknow Metro  services on 5thSeptember, 2017.

He said “the success of any project lies in proper planning, time management, strict adherence to schedules and professional competence of the subject.” “Discipline, Punctuality, Ethics and Integrity are the building blocks for success of any project. Adherence to these virtues laid the foundation stone for such a glorious achievement”, he added.

Shri Kumar Keshav said “working passionately with a sincere, dedicated and devoted approach can only yield such impossible results”. Executing a mammoth project like the Lucknow Metro Rail Project is, nevertheless, an easy task in an extremely compressed deadline, he elaborated.

It is only because of these virtues and sustained work round the clock that LMRC has been able to achieve this historical feat in less than three year. This has broken all the previous records of Metro Project execution, thereby, making the Lucknow Metro Rail Project the fastest ever Metro Project which has been made operational in just less than three year.

Shri Keshav shared his experience about the Lucknow Metro journey which was once a dream of the people of Lucknow and now it is a reality in such a short span of time. No other Metro project has ever been able to achieve this feat in such a less time. Even contemporary Metro Projects have also not been able to match up with the speed of project deliverance as compared with the Lucknow Metro Rail Project.

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Industry update: Alstom confirms talks for Siemens Mobility merger https://www.metrorailnews.in/industry-update-alstom-confirms-talks-siemens-mobility-merger/ https://www.metrorailnews.in/industry-update-alstom-confirms-talks-siemens-mobility-merger/#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 06:19:08 +0000 https://www.metrorailnews.in/?p=10778 Alstom formally confirmed on September 22 that it had been holding discussions regarding a possible ‘combination’ with Siemens’ Mobility Division. Alstom said that no final decision had been made, discussions are on-going and no agreement had been reached. The company would ‘inform the public of any material developments in this respect’. Speculation has been mounting […]

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Alstom formally confirmed on September 22 that it had been holding discussions regarding a possible ‘combination’ with Siemens’ Mobility Division.

Alstom said that no final decision had been made, discussions are on-going and no agreement had been reached. The company would ‘inform the public of any material developments in this respect’.

Speculation has been mounting in recent months regarding a possible combination of the rail activities of some or all of Alstom, Bombardier Transportation and Siemens, as the companies seek to compete with the scale, resources and state backing of China’s CRRC.

Bloomberg reported on September 21 that one option being considered was a merger of Siemens’ rail activities into Alstom in exchange for Siemens taking a stake in the French company, or the formation of joint ventures.

Siemens and Bombardier are understood to have discussed the formation of a Bombardier-led joint venture in the rolling stock market and a Siemens-led joint venture in the signalling sector.

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Delhi Metro | DMRC begins full trials of UTO trains between South Campus & Majlis Park https://www.metrorailnews.in/delhi-metro-dmrc-begins-full-trials-uto-trains-south-campus-majlis-park/ https://www.metrorailnews.in/delhi-metro-dmrc-begins-full-trials-uto-trains-south-campus-majlis-park/#respond Fri, 22 Sep 2017 10:36:48 +0000 https://www.metrorailnews.in/?p=10760 New Delhi: The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) today started full signaling trials on a 20 kilometre long stretch between Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus (near Dhaula Kuan) and Majlis Park on the upcoming Majlis Park – Shiv Vihar corridor of Delhi Metro’s Pink Line. These trials will test maximum automation of the new Metro trains, […]

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New Delhi: The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) today started full signaling trials on a 20 kilometre long stretch between Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus (near Dhaula Kuan) and Majlis Park on the upcoming Majlis Park – Shiv Vihar corridor of Delhi Metro’s Pink Line.

These trials will test maximum automation of the new Metro trains, equipped with Unattended Train Operations (UTO) and the new age CBTC (Communication Based Train Control) signaling system which  will enable the movement of trains with a frequency of about 90 to 100 seconds, thus significantly enhancing the carrying capacity of the Delhi Metro system. The train will run on the UTO mode to check how the new trains are coordinating with the new signaling technology. This is also the first time that such a long section is being tested in one go.

Signaling trials on this section is a significant step ahead towards the eventual commissioning of the stretch since signaling trails are started after the completion of all civil and ancillary works. Trial runs were started between Mayapuri and Shakurpur (6.5 kms) on this corridor in June, while last month, a Metro train had passed through the Delhi Metro system’s highest point at Dhaula Kuan for the first time.

This 20 kilometre long stretch is extremely important from the point of view of enhancing connectivity along the arterial Ring Road. The section has 12 stations (8 elevated and 4 underground) including four interchange stations. The interchange stations will be as follows:
– Dhalua Kuan and Durga Bai Deshmukh South Campus (connectivity with Airport Line through Foot Over Bridge)
– Rajouri Garden (connectivity with Dwarka – NOIDA/ Vaishali Blue Line)
– Netaji Subhash Place (connectivity with Dilshad Garden – Rithala Red Line)
– Azadpur (connectivity with HUDA City Centre – Samaypur Badli Yellow Line)

With the commencement of trials today, regular trials will also begin through Delhi Metro’s highest point at Dhaula Kuan at a height of 23.6 metres (as high as a seven storey building). Construction of this stretch above flyovers and the viaduct of the Airport Express Line was a major engineering achievement. The stretch is also adorned by many other engineering landmarks such as the four steel bridges at Mayapuri, Rajouri Garden, Shakurpur and Punjabi Bagh. Two other bridges have also been built using the Cantilever Construction (CLC) technology at Mayapuri and ESI Hospital.

Another major challenge encountered on this stretch was at Rameshwar Nagar, where a mid shaft had to be created to retrieve four Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) since two TBMs got stuck in 2014 due to unexpected rocky terrain. The shafts were created in an extremely congested area.

The 59 kilometre long Majlis Park – Shiv Vihar Metro corridor will be Delhi Metro’s longest Metro corrisor. It will primarily cater to the city’s Ring Road and will form a circular ring of Metro connectivity criss-crossing all the other operational Metro corridors. The line is planned to be opened in stages by March, 2018 (except Trilokpuri to Mayur Vihar Pkt-1 section due to land issue at Trilokpuri).The section from Majlis Park to Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus is expected to be completed by December, 2017 and sections from Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus to Mayur Vihar Pkt-1 and Trilokpuri to Shiv Vihar are expected to be completed by March, 2018.

Signaling trials are in progress between Botanical Garden and Kalkaji Mandir stations and between Janakpuri West and Terminal 1, IGI Airport stations on the Janakpuri West – Botanical Garden corridor (Line 8) also called the Magenta Line. Operations are expected to begin between Botanical Garden and Kalkaji Mandir by October end.

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Kochi Metro | Kerala CM to launch Kochi Metro extension on October 3, 2017 https://www.metrorailnews.in/kochi-metro-kerala-cm-launch-kochi-metro-extension-october-3-2017/ https://www.metrorailnews.in/kochi-metro-kerala-cm-launch-kochi-metro-extension-october-3-2017/#respond Fri, 22 Sep 2017 10:27:55 +0000 https://www.metrorailnews.in/?p=10757 Kochi: The number of trains operating for the Kochi metro will go up from six to nine as the system of mass rapid transport is extended from Palarivattom to Maharaja’s College Ground on October 3. The fare for the 18-km-long Aluva-Ground stretch will be ₹50. “The frequency of services has not been decided,” said Kochi […]

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Kochi: The number of trains operating for the Kochi metro will go up from six to nine as the system of mass rapid transport is extended from Palarivattom to Maharaja’s College Ground on October 3.

The fare for the 18-km-long Aluva-Ground stretch will be ₹50. “The frequency of services has not been decided,” said Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) sources.

Two trains will be kept as spare ones and might be operated during weekends and public holidays. Another pair of trains has arrived at the metro yard from Alstom’s coach manufacturing unit in Sri City, Andhra Pradesh.

KMRL managing director Elias George said October 3 was fixed as the tentative date to launch the 5-km-long extension. “The Chief Minister has confirmed that he will inaugurate the extension. Union Minister of State for Urban Development Hardeep Singh Puri has been invited to preside over a function.”

Almost all works of the five stations on the stretch are over. The interiors can be done even after the metro is extended to Maharaja’s College Ground.

The stations in the corridor are located at International Stadium, Kaloor, Lissie Junction, M.G. Road (near Chennai Silks) and Maharaja’s College Ground. “Integrated trials in the corridor are over and the Commissioner for Metro Rail Safety will inspect the stretch on September 21 and 22. The green signal to commence service is expected in another few days.”

“The launch has been scheduled for October 3 since Kochi is set to host FIFA Under-17 World Cup matches from October 7 to October 22 and a whole lot of people will arrive in the city prior to this,” said Mr. George.

Civil works on the metro’s 7-km-long Maharaja’s College Ground-Pettah corridor is expected to be over by June 2019.

On the Centre sending back a detailed project report submitted by KMRL for the metro’s Kakkanad extension, the metro agency’s spokesperson ruled out uncertainty about it.

“The Centre wants us to probe alternative modes of mass rapid transit such as tramway, bus rapid transit corridor etc., on the stretch. French agency Codatu had studied these systems as well. The metro needs less than 2 metre width of any road for constructing pillars. But a wider road is needed to exclusively dedicate space for other modes of transit. We already have traffic survey data of the corridor and will send a revised proposal.”

This might take a couple of months. The process to widen the road can begin even if there is delay in obtaining the Centre’s sanction for the extension.

The delayed services of Kochi metro will continue on September 18 as the testing of train and new software in the combined Reach 1 and Reach 1-A sections. The services will only start at 2 p.m. on September 18, said a press release here.

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Mumbai Metro | TBM launched for construction of first UG corridor https://www.metrorailnews.in/mumbai-metro-tbm-launched-construction-first-ug-corridor/ https://www.metrorailnews.in/mumbai-metro-tbm-launched-construction-first-ug-corridor/#respond Fri, 22 Sep 2017 01:40:27 +0000 https://www.metrorailnews.in/?p=10758 Mumbai:  Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnacis on Thursday, launched the first Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) into the Nayanagar shaft in Mahim, by pushing a button, for construction of the city’s first underground Metro corridor. In the backdrop of a setting sun and darkening clouds, the gantry lowered the cutter-head into the shaft before the front shield […]

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Mumbai:  Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnacis on Thursday, launched the first Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) into the Nayanagar shaft in Mahim, by pushing a button, for construction of the city’s first underground Metro corridor. In the backdrop of a setting sun and darkening clouds, the gantry lowered the cutter-head into the shaft before the front shield of the TBM. The launching of the TBM marks the beginning of the process that is expected to change the way the city travels.

“A new chapter has begun in Mumbai’s engineering field,” Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said Thursday after lowering the cutter-head of the first tunnel boring machine (TBM).

It will take 45 days to set up the 110-metre TBM and it is expected to complete a 2.5 km tunnel between Nayanagar and Dadar in a year. On an average, it will tunnel 10 m per day. “The TBM will start its boring operations in the fourth week of October,” said Ashwini Bhide, Managing Director, Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC). Twin tunnelling for the 33.5 km Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ corridor (Metro 3) will require 17 TBMs.

Speaking after the event, the CM said, “The Metro is constructed for the convenience of the people and all the courts have also ruled in its favour. It will most importantly reduce pollution. The Metro can reduce as much pollution as 2 crore trees.”

He said Mumbai would soon have an integrated ticketing system. “We had a meeting with Ford Mobility Services on Wednesday and signed an MoU. It will provide an app through which you can decide your travel route and purchase a ticket for all public transports — Metro, suburban trains, Monorail, buses or even water transport after it is developed in the eastern front,” said Fadnavis. The CM suggested that the completion of all Metro lines and elevated rail corridors in the city would augment public transport capacity to 1.3 crore people per day.

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Ghaziabad Metro | State Cabinet approves revised DPR and funding pattern for metro project https://www.metrorailnews.in/ghaziabad-metro-state-cabinet-approves-revised-dpr-funding-pattern-metro-project/ https://www.metrorailnews.in/ghaziabad-metro-state-cabinet-approves-revised-dpr-funding-pattern-metro-project/#respond Thu, 21 Sep 2017 13:46:55 +0000 https://www.metrorailnews.in/?p=10748 Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh cabinet, headed by chief minister Yogi Adityanath, approved the revised detailed project report and the funding pattern, which is to be shared by different UP agencies, for the 9.41 kilometre Ghaziabad metro project. The decision was taken in a cabinet meeting held in Lucknow and the revised detailed project report (DPR), […]

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Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh cabinet, headed by chief minister Yogi Adityanath, approved the revised detailed project report and the funding pattern, which is to be shared by different UP agencies, for the 9.41 kilometre Ghaziabad metro project.

The decision was taken in a cabinet meeting held in Lucknow and the revised detailed project report (DPR), estimating the cost of the project Rs2,210 crore, was approved, the official spokesperson for the UP government said. The previous cost of the project was Rs1,770 crore (as estimated in 2012) and was revised by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) in 2014.

The approval of the revised DPR was pending since the tenure of the previous government, under then chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. A proposal was sent in January 2016 by then vice-chairman of the Ghaziabad Development Authority to the UP government for clearance.

The approval of the revised DPR will now pave the way for a grant of Rs402.4 crore from the Government of India. The DMRC will provide Rs328 crore for the project, officials said.

Further, the cabinet also approved the funding pattern and funds sharing for the project. The funding pattern was already decided at the state level and state agencies were to share the cost of the project.

As per the approval, the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) will pitch in Rs695.8 crore and the Ghaziabad municipal corporation will contribute Rs 246.35 crore. Of the two Ghaziabad agencies, GDA has already paid its share.

Besides the two agencies, UP Avas Vikas Parishad and UP state industrial development corporation are expected to contribute Rs 440.45 crore and Rs 97 crore, respectively.

In a state-level meeting held last week in Lucknow, officials had asked the agencies to provide funds for the metro project. Officials said that the issue was pending for long and the agencies had reservations about their contribution.

UP principal secretary Mukul Singhal had also visited Ghaziabad on August 25 and said that the approval of the revised cost, DPR and the funding pattern was pending since. Following the visit, an appraisal of the project was taken up and sent for clearance to DMRC.

The 9.41km metro extension is coming up on an elevated corridor from Dilshad Garden in Delhi to New Bus Stand in Ghaziabad. In Ghaziabad, the officials have decided to construct eight stations — at Shaheed Nagar, Raj Bagh, Rajendra Nagar, Shyam Park, Mohan Nagar, Arthala, river Hindon and New Bus Stand.

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Hyderabad Metro | HMRL to start trial runs from October 15 before opening to public https://www.metrorailnews.in/hyderabad-metro-hmrl-start-trial-runs-october-15-opening-public/ https://www.metrorailnews.in/hyderabad-metro-hmrl-start-trial-runs-october-15-opening-public/#respond Thu, 21 Sep 2017 13:14:23 +0000 https://www.metrorailnews.in/?p=10745 Hyderabad: Trial run of Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) in the 30 km stretch, which is proposed for opening in the last week of November this year, will commence after October 15 after completion of the rail works, a senior official has said. At HMR board held here yesterday its Managing Director NVS Reddy explained to […]

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Hyderabad: Trial run of Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) in the 30 km stretch, which is proposed for opening in the last week of November this year, will commence after October 15 after completion of the rail works, a senior official has said.

At HMR board held here yesterday its Managing Director NVS Reddy explained to the Board the fast paced progress of Metro Rail works in the 30 km stretch from Miyapur-Ameerpet (13 km) of corridor-I and Ameerpet-Nagole (17 km) of corridor-III, which are proposed for opening in the last week of November this year, an official release said.

Reddy assured the Board that the works in these two stretches will be completed by October 15 and the trial run of trains will commence thereafter, so that the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) can be invited for Safety Certification of the Metro Rail system between Miyapur-Ameerpet and Ameerpet-Nagole in November first week, it said.

Reddy also briefed the Board members on the engineering designs and the different stages of progress of urban rejuvenation works being carried out by HMR at the street level in 24 Metro stations which are in set up on these two stretches.

The Board advised the MD to carry out the works in a targeted manner keeping the proposed inauguration in view, it said.

S P Singh, Telangana Chief Secretary, who is also the Board Chairman, who presided over the meeting, advised the MD to give special importance on creation of good toilet facilities, quality bus-bays, electrical vehicle charging facilities.

Lauding the initiative for having a common ticket and smart card facility for Metro Rail, Bus, MMTS and other modes, the Chairman advised Reddy to go for the latest technologies and tie up with one or two good banks for convenience of the passengers, it added.

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate the 30-km-long first phase of Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) project, while he is in the city to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit from November 28 to 30.

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Lucknow Metro | LMRC begins tunneling works from Sachivalaya towards Hussainganj https://www.metrorailnews.in/lucknow-metro-lmrc-begins-tunneling-works-sachivalaya-towards-hussainganj/ https://www.metrorailnews.in/lucknow-metro-lmrc-begins-tunneling-works-sachivalaya-towards-hussainganj/#respond Thu, 21 Sep 2017 12:43:29 +0000 https://www.metrorailnews.in/?p=10741 Lucknow: The Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) today started the tunnelling work of its Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) “Gomti” from Sachivalaya towards Hussainganj. It started with an auspicious “Pooja” ceremony performed by Shri Daljeet Singh, Director (Work & Infrastructure), senior officials and engineers and officials from the General Consultants to LMRC. TBM “Gomti” has now […]

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Lucknow: The Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) today started the tunnelling work of its Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) “Gomti” from Sachivalaya towards Hussainganj. It started with an auspicious “Pooja” ceremony performed by Shri Daljeet Singh, Director (Work & Infrastructure), senior officials and engineers and officials from the General Consultants to LMRC.

Lucknow Metro begins tunneling work from Sachivalaya

TBM “Gomti” has now started excavating earth for 600 metre Up Line from Sachivalaya to Hussainganj and it will complete this tunnelling by December, 2017.

Metro Rail Projects Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM)

The other TBM “Ganga” is also expected to start its initial drive for 610 metre Down Line between Sachivalaya and Hussainganj in next four weekstime.

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Varanasi turns showcase for metro rail and multi-model transport terminals https://www.metrorailnews.in/varanasi-turns-showcase-metro-rail-multi-model-transport-terminals/ https://www.metrorailnews.in/varanasi-turns-showcase-metro-rail-multi-model-transport-terminals/#respond Thu, 21 Sep 2017 12:29:52 +0000 https://www.metrorailnews.in/?p=10746 New Delhi: Varanasi which is small, congested city of around 82sq. km on the banks of the river Ganga has emerged as the showcase for India’s next generation urban infrastructure schemes. These range from a metro rail, a multimodal terminal, logistics parks, waterways, even a pod taxi project to ease congestion on the city’s chaotic […]

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New Delhi: Varanasi which is small, congested city of around 82sq. km on the banks of the river Ganga has emerged as the showcase for India’s next generation urban infrastructure schemes.

These range from a metro rail, a multimodal terminal, logistics parks, waterways, even a pod taxi project to ease congestion on the city’s chaotic streets. Given the importance of rice cultivation in the Uttar Pradesh, an International Rice Research Institute is also being set up at Varanasi, which is represented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha and was included in the second phase of the government’s Smart Cities Mission.

“Varanasi is the heart of Uttar Pradesh and the city has importance from several aspects—tourism, religion and politics, apart from being the prime minister’s constituency. That’s one of the reasons the centre is keen on developing it and presenting it as a model city,” said a Union government official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Proposed investments range from a staggering Rs20,000 crore for the metro rail system to a more modest Rs170 crore for the multimodal transport terminal and Rs1,000 crore for a so-called freight village. Other projects on the anvil include a Rs300 crore railway station redevelopment one, a Rs153 crore sewage treatment plant, a Rs100 crore pod taxi project, and a Rs211 crore convention centre.

A majority of these projects are coming up with central government assistance.

Varanasi is among three cities shortlisted for testing a rapid transport systems using pod cars—driverless vehicles that run along a pre-determined course.

The government’s focus on Varanasi hasn’t lost on lending agencies such as Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) which inked a 2,240 million yen (around Rs130 crore) grant agreement last week for the construction of the Varanasi International Cooperation and Convention Centre (VCC).

To be sure, experts believe that the planned transformation may take some time.

“Given the complexity of land acquisition in India, and especially in Varanasi which is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, implementing such infrastructure projects will be a challenge and will be slow. However, each of these projects will contribute to significantly transforming Varanasi,” said Jaijit Bhattacharya, partner and head, economics, regulatory and policy advisory, KPMG in India.

Queries emailed to the prime minister’s office and the ministries of urban development and agriculture remained unanswered.

The importance of Varanasi and Ganga was apparent in the recent cabinet reshuffle, with Nitin Gadkari given charge of the ministry of water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation to deliver on the key election pledge of cleaning the Ganga before the next general election in 2019.

The 2,525-km river which flows through Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand is also of key electoral importance as these states account for approximately 167 Lok Sabha constituencies.

Varanasi is also playing a key role in the National Waterway-1 (NW-1) programme on the river Ganga under the Jal Marg Vikas Project with a multimodal terminal being developed there.

“Varanasi is strategically located with a huge potential to facilitate the transshipment of domestic and export-import freight,” said Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) which is implementing the ambitious project in an emailed response.

“The project will connect the landlocked state of Uttar Pradesh to the South-east Asian countries through National Waterway 1 on river Ganga via the Bay of Bengal. National Waterway 1 will also provide seamless connectivity for cargo movement from Varanasi to country’s North-eastern region via Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route,” IWAI added.

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