Metro for Zero Mile of the Country: The Nagpur Metro

On 21 August 2021, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray inaugurated a 1.6 km expansion between Sitabuldi and Kasturchand Park.

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Nagpur Metro
Nagpur Metro
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Nagpur, the second capital of the state of Maharashtra is also the third largest city in the state and 13th largest urban conglomeration in India with area of 217 Sq. Km while the Nagpur Metro Region has a population of around 35 lakhs and an area of around 3576 Sq. Km. The city boasts of being the geographical center of the nation along with being the ‘Orange City’ as well as the ‘Tiger Capital of India’ as it is a Gateway to several tiger reserves in Central India. MIHAN (Multi-modal International Cargo Hub at Nagpur) Project is all set to give a big boost to the economic development of the region in general and the city in particular by creating employment potential of at least 2 lakh jobs.

With the growing economic activity, it is necessary to plan for the infrastructure development so as to support the growth of the city. One of the major impacts of economic development will be increased traffic on the city roads. Currently the Public Transportation System contributes only 10% of the total trips. The motorized transport is dominated by two wheelers (28%) and so is the vehicle ownership in the city (84% of all owned vehicles are two wheelers), with following repercussions:

  1. Traffic Congestion : With Metro the commuters are expected to get diverted to Metro reducing the congestion on roads. Presently, heavy to bumper traffic is visible on several roads in peak hours in the city.
  2. Pollution : Air quality of the city is going down consistently and is expected to improve with start of metro as the no. of vehicles on road shall go down.
  3. Road Accidents : With the start of the metro the road accidents is expected to reduce drastically as the congestion on road shall reduce. Presently, road accidents is reasonably high due to higher number of vehicles on road.
  4. Convenience : the present traffic system is not very convenient to commuters due to traffic jams, bad roads, traffic signals etc. The Metros shall make the transport system very convenient as the mode of transportation shall be highly comfortable, reliable and timely.
  5. Weather Extremities : Metro System ensures and provides a comfortable and distraction free movement. The present transport system does affect the drivers of individual vehicles causing discomforts.
  6. Travel time : presently the travel time is excessive due to traffic congestions and traffic signals. With the start of the metro the travel time is expected to get reduced by fifty percent.
  7. Cost : The cost of running individual vehicles is usually high due to high fuel cost its consumption and higher running time due to traffic congestion. With metros the travel cost is expected to be much less as compared to cost of running individual vehicles.
  8. Energy Saving : Most of the road transportation uses fossil fuels and has high energy consumption. Metro transportation uses around only 1/5th of energy as compared to road transport.  

Thus, there is a need for a safe, reliable, efficient, affordable, commuter friendly and environmentally sustainable rapid public transport system for the Nagpur Metro region.

Nagpur Metro Project

The project was conceived during the year 2012, when cities having population of more than 20 lakh were made eligible for having a metro rail system. This decision by the government had made 12 cities in India eligible for the metro rail, including Nagpur. Kamal Nath, then Union minister for urban development proposed a metro rail in Nagpur and called for a detailed project report from the state government. On 22 February 2012, the Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) signed an agreement with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to prepare the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the metro rail in Nagpur. The Central Ministry allocated Rs. 2.4 crore to the State Government for carrying out the DPR work.

To execute the project, the Cabinet approved setting up of Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation Limited (NMRCL) now known as Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited(MAHA-METRO). Maha Metro is a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) created for the smooth implementation and operations of the Nagpur Metro Rail Project and is a joint venture of the Government of India and the Government of Maharashtra, with 50:50 equity. Maha Metro shall be solely responsible for the successful and timely completion of the project and its subsequent operations.

Details

Phase – I

DMRC submitted the report to the nodal agency Nagpur Improvement Trust on 12 February 2013. The total cost of the project was estimated at around Rs.9,000 crore. The project consisted of two routes: Automotive square, Kamptee to MIHAN Metro depot and Prajapati Nagar, East Wardhaman Nagar to Lokmanya Nagar, Hingna. A total of 17 stations on Route no. 1 with a terminal cum depot at MIHAN and 19 stations on Route no. 2 with a terminal cum depot at Lokmanya Nagar were planned. A cross major station was proposed at Munje Square where the two routes would meet and the commuter would be able to exchange the routes.

It was expected that 12.21 percent of Nagpur’s estimated population of 29 lakh in 2021, i.e., around 3,63,000 commuters would use the Metro by 2021.

To provide first and last mile connectivity, feeder services such as shuttle buses, battery operated vehicles, pedestrian facilities and bicycle sharing schemes were included in the project. With a total distance of around 160 Km, 19 feeder routes covering all stations had been planned. Feeder services would enhance the accessibility of the Metro for all classes of commuters, to and from homes and offices.

Expenditure

The Total Expenditure of the Project is estimated to Rs. 8,680 crore with the Central Government and State Government each contributing 20% share in the form of equity and subordinate debt. Nagpur Municipal Corporation and Nagpur Improvement Trust each giving 5% share of the expenditure while the rest 50% is being financed by loan. Recently, KfW, a German government-owned development bank, has approved a loan of Rs. 3,700 crores to NMRCL as a part of fund required for the project. An additional Rs. 444 crore loan will also be provided for funding the proposed feeder service and solar energy installation of Nagpur Metro Rail on mere concessional terms of KfW Germany. The remaining requirement of about €130 million for the entire project has been funded by AFD France. The 20-year credit, is used for funding signalling, telecommunication, automatic fare collection systems, lifts and escalators.

Proposed Alignment by DMRC

In early 2012 Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) requested DMRC to provide Consultancy services for preparation of a Detailed Project Report for Metro Rail System in Nagpur, Maharashtra initially for 30 km which was revised to 42 km in July 2012.

Thereafter, DMRC conducted Traffic Surveys, Topographical Surveys, Geotechnical Investigations and Environment Impact Assessment Survey. The study area consisted of Nagpur Municipal Corporation Area. The study area totalled to approximately 217 km. Based on the different types of surveys done by DMRC, metro alignments were finalised after repeated inspection of the road network, intersections, passenger traffic flow, traffic congestion, connectivity to important land uses.

Alignment (Proposed by DMRC)Detail Route
Alignment-1: Orange Line (North-South Corridor) (22.293 km, 20 stations)Automotive Square, along Kamptee Road, Wardha Road, Variety Square to Abhyankar Road, along Nag River alignment will fall on Humpyard Road, Rahate Colony Road, Wardha Road, Khamla Road, Airport, MIHAN Area
Alignment-2: Aqua Line (East – West Corridor) (19.407 km, 20 stations)From Prajapati Nagar, along Central Avenue Road, Railway Feeder Road, Munje Square, Jhansi Rani Square, North Ambajhari Road, Hingna Road, Lokmanya Nagar

Phase – II

Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation in early 2018 had started plans for phase 2 of Nagpur Metro by appointing RITES to prepare detailed project report for future routes. The DPR was to submitted by April 2018 but got delayed.

RITES in the DPR envisioned five routes for metro rail. Two routes were in the north–south corridor from Automotive Square to Kanhan River having length of 13 km with 12 stations and from MIHAN to MIDC ESR having length of 18.50 km with 10 stations. Two routes in the east–west corridor from Lokmanya Nagar to Hingna having length of 6.70 km and 7 stations and from Prajapati Nagar to Transport Nagar having length 5.60 km with 3 stations. A new route is also proposed from Wasudeo Nagar to Dattawadi having length of 4.50 km with 3 stations.

The DPR was submitted to Urban Development Department(UDD) of Government of Maharashtra in July 2018 by Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation. The phase 2 was approved in January 2019 by the State Government.

Network & Routes

Present Network

Nagpur Metro – Present Network
Line No.Line NameFirst OperationalLast extensionStationsLengthTerminals
1.Orange8 March 201921 Aug 20211315.6KhapriKasturchand Park
2.Aqua28 Jan 202006 April 20211111.0SitabuldiLokmanya Nagar

Metro Lines

Line 1 : Orange Line (North-South Corridor) (Rail Length:22.293 km; No of Stations:20)

This corridor originates from Automotive Square on Kamptee Road; moves along Kamptee Road and reaches the intersection point of Amravati Road and Wardha Road, then after crossing fly over moves towards Munje Square, moves towards Dhantoli and along nala moves towards Empire/Dr Munje Marg, leads towards Congress Nagar T-Point, then on Rahate Colony Road and then falls on Wardha Road, leads towards NEERI, then moves along Wardha Road and then west of Railway Track in MIHAN area. And passes through 14m wide stretch of land between the railway boundary line and the road near proposed Container Depot.

Entire length (22.293 km.) of this corridor is proposed as elevated except in 4.6 km at grade after Airport Station and in MIHAN area near Khapri Railway Station. There are 20 stations on this corridor of which 15 stations are elevated and 5 stations are at Grade. Sitaburdi Station is an inter-change station. Average inter-station distance is 1.20 km approximately varying from 0.54 km to 2.4 km depending upon the site, operational and traffic requirements. This line has started operations partially between Sitabuldi to Khapri since 8 March 2019.

Line 2 : Aqua Line (East-West Corridor) (Rail Length:19.407 km; No of Stations:20)

This corridor originates from Prajapati Nagar and runs westwards, through Vaishnodevi Square, Ambedkar Square, Telephone Exchange, Chittar Oli Square, Agarsen Square, Doser Vaisya Square, Nagpur Railway Station, Sitaburdi, Jhansi Rani Square, Institute of Engineers, Shankar Nagar Square, Lad Square, Dharmpeth College, Subhash Nagar, Rachna (Ring road Junction), Vasudev Nagar, Bansi Nagar to Lokmanya Nagar. The entire corridor is elevated.

The total length of the corridor is 19.407 kilometre. There are 20 stations on this corridor. All stations are elevated stations and Sitaburdi station is an Interchange Station. Average inter-station distance is 1.00 km approximately varying from 0.65 km to 1.29 km depending upon the site, operational and traffic requirements.

The DMRC in its Detailed Project Report (DPR) submitted to Nagpur Improvement Trust has suggested to start the construction work on both the routes simultaneously contradicting the prior suggestion of phase wise development. This line has started operations partially between Sitabuldi to Lokmanya Nagar since 28 January 2020.

Major Timeline & Status Update

Orange Line : North-South Corridor

  • November 2015          : Work started on construction of depot.
  • January 2016               : Work started on Wardha Road.
  • August 2016                : Work started on Ajni road. (near Ajni railway station).
  • September 2016          : Work started on back side of Nagpur railway station.
  • October 2016              : Work started Near Ambazari Lake.
  • October 2016              : Work started on Sitabuldi Interchange Station (Munje Square).
  • December 2016           : Work started for Construction of Depot at MIHAN on the N-S Corridor.
  • January 2017               : Work Started on Zero Mile Station.
  • August 2017                : Trial run started till Airport Station.
  • September 2017          : First trial run was conducted on a 5.6 km section between MIHAN area and Khapri station.
  • April 2018                   : Second and Final inspection of CMRS for clearance.
  • December 2018           : Work progressing in all sections but Metro expected to miss March 2019 deadline.
  • January 2019               : The first metro train from China reached metro depot in Nagpur.
  • February 2019             : Trial run begins.
  • February 2019             : Prime Minister to inaugurate 12.5 km long Phase-1 section from Sitabuldi to Khapri in first week for March 2019.
  • 3 March 2019              : CMRS inspection carried out.
  • 5 March 2019              : Prime Minister to inaugurate 13 km long Sitabuldi to Khapri section on 8 March 2019.
  • 8 March 2019              : Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated metro between Sitabuldi to Khapri via video conferencing.
  • August 2021                : Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray inaugurated a 1.6 km expansion between Sitabuldi and Kasturchand Park.

Conclusion

Nagpur Metro is a rapid transit system for the city of Nagpur, Maharashtra, India. It is estimated to cost Rs. 8,260 crore. In February 2014, the Government of Maharashtra gave approval for the Metro Project, while the Government of India’s Ministry of Urban Development had given ‘In Principle’ approval for the Project.

On 20 August 2014, Union Cabinet gave approval for the development of project, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid foundation stone on 21 August on his visit to the city. Construction on the project began on 31 May 2015, with trial run beginning on 30 September 2017.

Prime minister Narendra Modi inaugurated operations on Nagpur Metro on 8 March 2019 via video conferencing along with Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis and Union Cabinet Minister Nitin Gadkari. Nagpur Metro becomes 13th Metro system in India to be operational. It is also being touted as the greenest metro rail in India.

On 21 August 2021, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray inaugurated a 1.6 km expansion between Sitabuldi and Kasturchand Park. This featured the Zero Mile Freedom Park station which has a 60,000-sq ft park and a 20-storey building, designed by a French architect.

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