August 14, 2013
PUNE: The Central government has approved a proposal to facilitate smooth transfer of government land for speedy execution of metro projects across the country.State urban development department officials said the decision means that metro projects in cities like Pune could be extended to fringes in the future and seek government land for the same. “The process to get government land was technical and required many clearances. Now, if the state government and the local governing body want government land for metro project, the Centre will approve the same without any delay,” said a state UDD official.
According to the proposal, metro companies formed by the state and local governing bodies will be treated under rules that are applied in the case of Central Public Sector Undertakings (PSU). This will allow transfer/ alienation of land including defence land to metro rail companies having 50:50 partnership with the government of India and the state government concerned, on the same pattern and terms and conditions as applicable to PSUs / statutory bodies.
As per this decision, ongoing and future metro rail projects will be facilitated to get completed within the approved cost and time with subsequent project benefits to the people.
“The state cabinet, in June 2012, gave its nod to the Pune metro project, approving the 14.925-km elevated route from Vanaz to Ramwadi. The cabinet also decided to form the Pune Metro Rail Corporation (PMRC) for the implementation of the metro project. The government decision on land will definitely benefit the city as there are plans to extend the metro in Pune Metropolitan Region,” said the UDD official.
However, land acquisition, which has often stalled several projects including the Bus Rapid Transit System in Pune, will not be a problem for the 14.925-km elevated route of the Pune metro rail project from Vanaz to Ramwadi.
About 18.44 hectares land is required for 15 elevated stations and a depot in Kothrud.
Of the total land requirement, 14 hectare belongs to the government and the PMC and four hectare is held by private owners. The 14.925 km stretch is planned on roads that are 30m wide and hence no more land acquisition is necessary to construct this metro route.
July 15, 2013
Subhendu Ray , Hindustan Times New Delhi,
Taking steps in this direction, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is almost on the verge of completing the detailed project report (DPR) for the proposed phase 4 corridors (94.24km).
“By August DPR for all the corridors proposed in phase 4 will be ready and submitted to the state government for requisite approvals. After that we will be able to start civil work under phase 4, anytime the government wants us to,” said SD Sharma, director, business development, DMRC.
It is also almost ready with the DPR for Janakpuri West-RK Ashram corridor and would submit it to the government within a week, said Sharma.
By the end of this month, DMRC will submit DPRs for three other corridors— Tughlakabad-Aerocity, Lajpat Nagar-Saket G Block and Inderlok-Indraprastha —and the DPR for Rithala-Narela via Bawana by August, said DMRC officials.
Before finalising, the DPRs would have to be approved first by the Delhi government and then by the Centre.
“We may have to start construction work for some corridors under phase 4 much before the completion of phase 3 in 2016. We have expedited the process of preparing DPR for phase 4 as the urban development minister wanted early execution of the project,” Sharma said.
Phase 4 is scheduled to be completed by 2021.
According to officials, Delhi Metro has made certain changes in the initial project layout following suggestions given by the Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES), an engineering consultancy company, which last year had conducted a traffic survey and found that some changes in the plan would benefit more people.
June 18, 2013
Subhendu Ray, Hindustan Times New Delhi, June 16, 2013
Travelling across the city in Delhi Metro is likely to get more comfortable if you are a smartphone user. You may not even need to carry a Metro smartcard or buy a token because your phone will have everything you need.The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is exploring the possibility of introducing a new system termed near-field communication (NFC), which has the ability to make smartphones act as Metro smartcards. The NFC device in your phone will act as the electronic identity document and keycard.
“We hope to put the system in place soon and reduce the use of physical smartcards within two years before our network expansion under phase 3 is completed. NFC devices are currently at a trial stage,” said a senior engineer of the signalling department of DMRC.
The projected average daily metro ridership in 2016 is projected at nearly 40 lakh once phase 3 expansion is over. DMRC is eyeing at a 30 per cent reduction in manual smartphone transactions through this system.
Many new Samsung smartphones, Nokia Lumia phones, Sony’s Xperia range, HTC’s high-end phones and LG’s Optimus range support NFC. Many other smartphone makers too are reportedly keen on introducing the system.
“An antenna chip will be inserted in the smartphone, which will function as a smartcard. The commuter will have to bring the phone close to the automatic fare collection (AFC) gate to gain entry,” said Anuj Dayal, chief spokesperson of DMRC. The device will establish radio communication with the AFC gate when touched or in close proximity to the phone.
“The new generation phones will let you recharge the chip. The amount of recharge will be reflected in your monthly phone bills “, he added.
The NFC devices are also being tried as alternative to smartcards in Dubai and Singapore metros, he said.
June 18, 2013
htreporters, Hindustan Times New Delhi,
The Hazrat Nizamuddin-Shiv Vihar standard gauge corridor of the Delhi Metro, which is part of Phase III, will have a record number of sharp curves.”There are uneven twists and turns in this 25-km elevated corridor. So we have been forced to construct 14 curves on this stretch, which passes through highly congested areas of east Delhi such as Trilokpuri, Anand Vihar, Karkardooma, Welcome and Seelampur,” said a Delhi Metro spokesperson.
Curves with a radius between 200 and 300 meters are considered ‘sharp’ in urban rail construction. “The work on building sharp curves requires a great deal of engineering skills and several factors have to be kept in mind while designing special segments/spans at the turn concerned,” the spokesperson added.
The Hazrat Nizamuddin-Shiv Vihar corridor is a part of the 59-km-long Mukundpur-Shiv Vihar corridor.
June 18, 2013
htreporters, Hindustan Times
To ensure pedestrians have more facilities to cross busy arterial roads, the public works department (PWD) has asked the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to provide passage to pedestrians through the unpaid area in all stations in phase 3 and phase 4 expansions.
PWD officials said they had written to DMRC earlier this month and held a meeting with its officials. “The number of vehicles is growing at a steady pace and it gets difficult for pedestrians to cross the busy streets. Instead of constructing subways or pedestrian bridges every couple of kilometres, it is better if a passage is provided to them through Metro stations,” said a senior PWD official.
The PWD official said they had asked the Delhi Metro to make such a provision at its upcoming stations along Ring Road and Outer Ring Road. Delhi Metro will construct about 230km Metro network in the next few years. Two of its longest lines being constructed under phase 3 — Mukundpur to Yamuna Vihar and Janakpuri to Botanical garden (Noida) — are coming up along Ring Road and Outer Ring Road, respectively. Delhi Metro officials said they were making conscious efforts to provide smooth passage to pedestrians through its stations wherever possible. “The stations built in phase 1 do not have this facility but all stations, whether elevated or underground, built in phase 2 provide passage to pedestrians,” a DMRC spokesperson said.
While stations between Rajiv Chowk and Dwarka do not allow pedestrians to use the Metro stations to cross busy Patel Road or Najafgarh Road, all stations in Noida and Gurgaon can be used to cross the roads. ”In phase 3 and phase 4 also, we will make provisions for pedestrians to cross through the unpaid area,” the spokesperson said.
June 17, 2013
Radheshyam Jadhav, TNN |
The Maharashtra government and the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) are mulling over Mumbai metro model of Public Private Partnership (PPP) involving central funds to expedite the Pune metro project.
The recent meeting of the state urban development department (UDD) with PMC officials concluded that the Union government’s PPP model would help the Pune metro project raise the required funds.
A PMC official said that urban transport is inter-twined with urban development and is under the purview of the state government. The concerned state and the city implementing urban transport project need to work on financial model and hence the state government is tapping options for Pune metro funding. The PPP model involving central funding has been adopted for the Hyderabad metro project (71.16 km) and Mumbai metro line 1 with length of 11.40 km and line 2 with length of 31.871 km. According to the state and PMC officials this model would help to avoid any further delay to start the project.
In June last year, the state cabinet gave its assent to the much-awaited Pune metro rail project, approving the 14.925-km elevated route from Vanaz to Ramwadi. The cabinet also decided to form the Pune Metro Rail Corporation (PMRC) for implementing the project, which is planned to be completed within the next four years. The cabinet nod for the metro project had come close on the heels of the union urban development ministry’s decision to consider metros in cities with a population of more than 20 lakh.
The overarching model for Pune metro will be Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s (DMRC) proposed model, where 10% of the project cost will be contributed by the PMC while the state and Centre will contribute 20% each.
The remaining 50% will be raised by a special purpose vehicle (SPV) using various options like build-operate-transfer (BOT) and public private partnership (PPP).
The PPP model opted by Hyderabad and Mumbai has helped these cities get substantial Union government funding along with the PPP investment, said the state officials in the meeting. The PMC has been asked to work on a proposal to be submitted to the Union government.
The Metro Story
In 2006, Union minister Sharad Pawar told the PMC and the PCMC to submit a plan for a metro. DMRC’s expertise was sought and the corporation recommended its model.
The corporation suggested setting up of a Pune Metro Rail Corporation to oversee all options. Completion target set for 2014-15 at a cost of Rs 8,401 crore for the first corridor from Pimpri-Chinchwad to Swargate and Rs 9,534 crore for second corridor from Vanaz to Ramwadi.
10% of the total project cost to be contributed by the PMC while the state and Centre to give 20% each. The remaining 50% will be raised by the special purpose vehicle (SPV) using options like Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) and Public Private Partnership (PPP).
June 5, 2013
Rumu Banerjee, TNN |
NEW DELHI: If history is your passion, travelling on Delhi Metro’s upcoming heritage line could be well worth the effort. Besides connecting several historical monuments, the stations on the line — Central Secretariat to Kashmere Gate —will also exhibit large murals, narratives and artwork of the neighbouring monuments that the line passes through. To begin with, Janpath Metro station will have murals and artwork inspired by Agrasen ki Baoli and Jantar Mantar.
“Delhi is an ancient city, with reminders of itsglorious heritage in the form of monuments and ruins all around. These places are often forgotten and lost in the rapid urbanization. Since the Janpath Metro station lies in the vicinity of the monuments like Jantar Mantar and Agrasen ki Baoli, we wanted to have a collage of various aspects of the structures in a colourful and graphical format,” said a senior Delhi Metro officer.
According to Delhi Metro officials, the murals and other artwork will be displayed in the connecting subways along the network as well. “There are several subways planned as part of the Metro station design along the heritage line. All the subways will have narratives and displays of the nearby monuments,” added the Delhi Metro official.
It’s not just the Janpath station that will have the murals or artwork. Other stations along the line will also exhibit unique and at times, modern takes on the historical monuments that are near the stations. For instance, the Red Fort Metro station will have entry and exit points that will be constructed to look like the neighbouring Mughal architecture. Similarly, the Jama Masjid station as well as the Delhi Gate stations will have distinctive murals, narratives.
The Delhi Metro will use the latest technology while putting up these graphic panels. “The specifications of the work includes an aluminium channel framing which provides the base for mounting panels on existing wall surfaces. Also, 26 gauge galvanized iron (GI)/MS sheets with colour ‘duco’ finish will be used,” added the official.
Incidentally, other Metro stations that have similar displays include Barakhamba, INA, Uttam Nagar and Welcome station. However, here the displays are different with various themes. The heritage line will be the first Metro corridor that will have a consistent artistic theme of historical buildings but with differing monuments in each station.
According to officials, with thousands of people visiting the Delhi Metro every day, stations can be a “very important vantage point for communicating ideas to the public”. “The large size and bold use of colours and modern abstract forms will also lighten up the walls of the stations,” added the official.
June 5, 2013
Rumu Banerjee, TNN |
NEW DELHI: Commuting by Delhi Metro could get costlier if a proposal to hike the power tariff for Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is accepted. The proposal, which is still being examined by Delhi Regulatory Commission(DERC), comes after the discoms sought a hike in tariff. Delhi Metro, which made a case to DERC earlier last month, has clearly said in its presentation that any further increase in tariff cannot be absorbed by DMRC without an increase in the fare which, it admits, will burden commuters.
At present, Delhi Metro pays Rs 6.05 per unit, besides “fixed” charges. As part of the “time of day” (TOD) metering, DMRC also pays a higher tariff for using power at certain hours of the day, which are usually the peak hours.
Says Sharat Sharma, director (operations), at Delhi Metro: “The maximum energy usage by Delhi Metro is during the hours defined as peak by the discoms. The TOD tariff has resulted in an additional burden. Since Delhi Metro is a passenger service, we cannot curtail energy usage during peak commuter travelling hours.” According to Sharma, energy consumption in the past two years has been 41.34 per cent but the expenditure on power has gone up by 140 per cent during that time. “A further power tariff hike will have a detrimental impact on our operational costs. Already, power accounts for 40 per cent of our operational costs. If this goes up further, we will have to cut down on other services,” said Sharma.
Last year, DMRC had asked the Centre for a hike in fares, citing increasing operational costs. However, the committee on fare hike is yet to be set up. If a fare hike is not implemented now, Delhi Metro could be forced to look at a subsidy from the government to pay back its loans, say officials.
“The loan from JICA ( Japan International Cooperation Agency) is paid from the operational revenue collected by Delhi Metro at present. If this goes down, then subsidies would have to be considered to bail out Delhi Metro,” admits Sharma.
Adding to the DMRC’s woes is the talk of a reliability charge by the discoms. While the hikes proposed range from 1.61-20 per cent, the reliability charge is for supplying uninterrupted power, according to the proposal. This, says Delhi Metro, would be blatantly unfair.
“Reliability is a factor introduced through our systems which have been put in place. The fact is that in the financial year 2012-13, there were numerous instances of tripping, which resulted in a loss of power for 36 hours,” says Sharma. Interestingly, compared to UP and Haryana, Delhi power unit costs the most. Per unit prices in the neighbouring states are Rs 5 and Rs 5.60 per unit, respectively.
May 29, 2013
Vibhor Mohan, TNN |
CHANDIGARH: The elevated corridor of the Metro Rail will have elaborate landscaping to check encroachments around the structures and architectural controls to ensure that it gels with the overall look of the city. The Metro system will be underground in the core area of Chandigarh and will run on the surface when the two corridors run into Panchkula and Mohali.
May 28, 2013
- Hindustan Times (Delhi) HT Correspondent
In an earlier board meeting held on January 11, both the authorities had given in-principal approval to the proposed route between Noida’s Sector 32 (City Center) and Bodaki in Greater Noida.
In 2011, the previous state government had approved a similar project but nothing happened on the ground. However, it helped many private builders in selling flats to homebuyers.
Apart from the Metro line, other important projects which are likely to get board approvals include a convention center on 25 acres of land and a medical university.