VB Gadgil,Chief Executive and Managing Director, L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad)
He is oblivious to the dictum of ´racing against time´. Gadgil spearheads the world´s largest PPP project in the metro sector - the Hyderabad Metro - which is known for its many firsts. Never attempted before in India, it involves the execution of 72 km of metro rail in five years, the largest single urban development project and state-of-the-art rolling stock with high regeneration of power. Global achievements include advanced communication-based train control and unprecedented public interface campaigns to involve denizens in an infrastructure project. In 2015, the first 8 km from Nagole and Mettuguda were expected to be operational, but the wait remained. Nevertheless, the Metro has been progressing rapidly, and Gadgil shares more on this progress report.
Status on 8 km from Nagole and Mettuguda: The system was ready before the scheduled date; however, commercial operations are to be finalised based on various technical, operational and financial parameters and with the consultation and concurrence of all stakeholders.
Targets for 2016: Our target is to start commercial operations in a few stretches of Hyderabad Metro rail as early as possible. This includes system readiness of stretch between Miyapur to Mettuguda by March 2016 and an attempt to complete rail-over-bridges at Begumpet, Alugaddabavi, Chilkalguda, Oliphanta and Malakpet. Current status: Over 60 per cent (weighted average) of the project is complete. Fifty-three km of foundations (74 per cent), 50 km of piers (70 per cent) and 41 km of viaduct (58 per cent) have been completed. Two major depots of Uppal and Miyapur have been completed along with Stage-1 of 8 km from Nagole to Mettuguda (Corridor III).
Stage-2 Miyapur to SR Nagar (Corridor I) is in the completion stage. Trial runs have commenced. Forty-eight trains are received (three car trains). Balance trains will be received by February 2016 with a rollout of the last train from the factory at Changwon, South Korea, scheduled in February 2016. All trains are in various stages of testing in depots and completed guide-ways (of around 20 km).
Regenerating power of up to 40 per cent: The trains will use regenerative electric braking, thereby converting the momentum into electrical energy and feeding back to the power supply system while deceleration. As a contribution towards the clean development mechanism, this will reduce the energy requirement from the grid. This technology is inbuilt in the trains manufactured by Hyundai Rotem.
Overcoming challenges: We are trying to overcome the majority of challenges with efficient planning and accurate engineering and design expertise, thereby handling possible delays in project completion.