‘Metro’s design inspired by Lucknow’s cultural heritage’
Managing director of the Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC), Kumar Keshav says metro train has been one of the best projects in the history of Uttar Pradesh. In conversation with Anupam Srivastava, Keshav shared the journey of Lucknow metro. Excerpts:
What were the political and engineering challenges in Awadh rotary and Mawaiya span?
LMRC faced challenges related to engineering construction at Mawaiya railway crossing. We had to construct a special balanced cantilever span of 255 metres (central span 105 metres and end spans of 75 metres each) over 13 railway tracks. This was one of the most critical jobs which the LMRC engineers executed at a height of 21.5 metres above the ground level over railway tracks at a height of 15.2 meters from the ground level.
At Awadh Rotary, we constructed a 60-metre special steel span bridge crossing the rotary over a statue in the middle of the rotary. This bridge has been built at a height of approximately 13 metres above the ground connecting both the ends of the Metro viaduct to provide a special seamless connectivity for metro train operation. This is a rare work that has not been done for any metro project in the country.
How did LMRC manage to keep the deadline?
LMRC follows a corporate work culture where professionalism comes first. All the officers and staff perform their duty with accountability, transparency and time-bound commitments.
Lucknow Metro is a time-bound project which has to be completed within the stipulated timeframe. This has been made possible only because of the devotion and contribution of the entire team. All our agencies, contractors and sub-contractors have worked round-the-clock to achieve the target.
What happened to metro’s reverse clock after March 26?
Metro’s reverse clock will again be set for target days after the inauguration of ‘priority corridor’.
How would Lucknow metro be different from other such projects?
Lucknow metro will provide commuters a state-of-the-art mass rapid transit system (MRTS) that will be convenient, safe, fast, reliable, cost-effective and barrier-free for the differently-abled.
Lucknow metro rolling stocks (metro trains) have the most advanced signalling and train control system known as communication-based train control system (CBTC). It enables metro trains to virtually operate in a ‘driverless’ mode.
The design of the metro train is inspired by the cultural heritage of the city. The exterior of the train is a tribute to cultural richness of the city. Exterior livery in golden colour is inspired by chikankari craftsmanship. The front shape of the train shows the spirit of the Roomi Gate, Bada Imambara and Asafi Masjid. Blending of black colour in front of the car is inspired from the modern feel of Hazratganj.
The 8.5-km priority corridor (of North-South corridor) has been constructed and is being made operational for the public in less than three years which is a record in itself. No other metro project has been able to achieve this feat in the past. Even contemporary metro projects in the country have also not been able to match with the speed of deliverance in the country as compared to LMRC’s strength in project execution.
What were the major problems that LMRC faced?
Before the construction work for the project on September 27, 2014, we had a lot of interaction with the public. Utility identification was a big issue. The entire city had already been utilised for civic infrastructure facilities and there were narrow footpaths and congested buildings. We widened some of the footpaths, removed electrical poles, electrical cables. We also shifted some water pipelines.
Since the city had never seen such type of work on busy roads, we faced a big challenge in taking people and small utility agencies along. We took help of the utility agencies and are thankful that they supported us despite LMRC being new to them. Gradually, people developed confidence in us and we shifted the utilities on their behalf. As a result, delays could be controlled and contractor was given a clear zone to work within a strict time-frame.
Why the route from Amausi to Charbagh was chosen for the launch of Lucknow metro?
It was decided to implement the metro project for 23 km on the North-South corridor from Chaudhary Charan Singh airport to Munshipulia as the detailed project report (DPR) had predicted a very good ridership along this route by 2020. This stretch is densely populated and metro will get the highest ridership as compared to other routes in Lucknow.
What were the major roadblocks when it came to the implementation of the project?
The government and other civic agencies of the city helped us immensely in the project.
How was Dr E Shredharan helpful in Lucknow metro?
Dr. E. Sreedharan has been the principal advisor for the project since its inception. He has given very valuable guidance in the implementation of this project throughout.
How will Lucknow metro run in profit or at par? Any plans?
We hope Lucknow metro will be in operational profit from the first day of its revenue services. I expect Lucknow metro will attract huge ridership thereby helping us in earning profits.
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