Proposed light metro systems in Indore and Bhopal are likely to be automated, driverless networks, sources associated with the project said.
Rohit Associates, the consultant for metro projects in the two cities, has recommended the driverless model after a topographical survey carried out earlier, the sources said.
A team of consultants has been stationed in Indore since the beginning of the month studying the alignment to determine how the routes will be constructed i.e. subterranean or elevated.
Around 15 per cent of the total metro network, most of it in the core area, will be underground while the remaining portion in Indore is likely to be elevated, said the sources. The portion on the outskirts is likely to be on-ground, they added.
The consultancy firm is giving the finishing touches to the detailed project report (DPR), which is likely to be completed in a month.
"The system will have an optimum capacity of 45,000 passengers per hour per direction and each train will be capable of carrying 1,000 passengers," said Roland Seifert, who is handling the operational aspects in preparation of the DPR.
"A high quality metro system requires suitable maintenance facilities and provisions for staff training," said Marc Herkenrath, who is overseeing issues pertaining to depots and workshops.
Rohit Associates’ managing director Rohit Gupta said project costs for the Indore metro would be about `16,000 crore, "an average of Rs 180-190 crore per kilometre".
Given the way it was highlighted at the recently-concluded Global Investors Summit, the government appears keen to take the public-private partnership (PPP) route for Indore and Bhopal metros.
The Indore metro will have both direct – stops, depots – as well as indirect land requirements. But, perhaps given the sensitive nature of the subject, consultants are chary of divulging details about how much land will have to be acquired. "I cannot say anything about that," said Gupta.
When contacted, officer on special duty (transport) in the urban development and environment department, Kamal Nagar, said the government had approved the light metro model with all its subsets "on merit."
"However, a final decision on whether the system will be fully automated or not will be taken after the financial plan is submitted," he added.