With metro lines of about 528 km expected to be operational in India soon and considering the support these can lend to India´s future smart cities, CW takes a look at trends and factors to help execute these projects successfully.
One of the major elements of India´s 100 smart cities will be mobility, making an MRTS project like the Metro a key component. Abhay Kumar Mishra, CEO, Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd, affirms, ¨Metros are the most technologically advanced urban transport solution.¨ Modern, safe, green and reliable, the Metro, as VB Gadgil, Chief Executive and Managing Director, L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Ltd, says, will be ideal for planned new cities with transportation as their backbone in the presence of futuristic planning. Sunil Srivastava, Managing Director, BARSYL, also agrees on the relevance of Metro, adding, ¨The government is encouraging every city to plan at least one Metro, and the Ministry of Urban Development is willing to partly fund the study for every city. The result: Smaller towns are stepping forward and towns including Agra, Meerut, and Varanasi are planning a Metro.
The current status
In fact, the Central Government, as reported, is considering Metro networks in nine cities covering 223 km at a cost of Rs 83,000 crore. Of the 259 km of metro line in India, 189 km is in Delhi and 60 km in four other cities. While Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai and Nagpur are witnessing works going on, projects in Pune, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada are reported to be taken up. Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu confirms, ¨The Government is keen to cover major cities in the country, and hence, Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata need to be given all the encouragement. Pune is also on our priority list; once we get the proposals for Metro, we will consider it.¨ If all this fructifies, metro lines worth around Rs 164,915 crore of about 528 km should be operational in India soon. (See table on page 62 for status on Metro projects) While the construction phase of Mumbai Metro Line-I is over and the project commenced commercial operations from June 2014, Line-III is on the anvil. Also, last month, the Jaipur Metro Phase-1B, among the fastest implemented metro projects in the country, was opened to passengers (turn to page 66 for complete construction details). Currently, the Lucknow and Noida Metros are in the bidding phase and new bids shall be announced for Ahmedabad, Nagpur and expansions of Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi.
In the Hyderabad Metro Rail Project, Stage-I is under trial run following the speed certificate received from RDSO. Stage-II is under aggressive construction mode and static and dynamic testing of trains under progress is underway both in the depot and on land. Stage-III, IV, V and VI are under active construction mode. ¨While all major purchases are all already completed, tenders may get floated for transit-oriented development (TOD) for architectural planning, engineering, construction of TOD, major MEP and vertical transport systems. This will happen based on the launch of each project,¨ says Gadgil.
Underground vs elevated
Metros are being constructed in two modes: Elevated and/or underground. Although the underground system requires no road space for the train duct (tunnel), substantial space is required at the stations for planning entry and exit for commuters and ventilation shafts. The elevated corridor requires about 2-3 m width of road (normally the existing median width) for construction of the viaduct and further additional land or right of way to undertake construction work and mobilise construction equipment.
For his part, Mishra recommends the elevated mode. ¨The capital cost for an underground system is nearly three times compared to an elevated system,¨ he reasons. ¨Hence, for a developing economy like India, elevated is recommended.¨ If finance is in place, though, Srivastava´s choice is underground. ¨A major benefit of the underground Metro is that it does not spoil the city´s architecture. But if the funds are not in place, stakeholders need to arrive at the most viable option.¨
Vendors step in The Urban Development Ministry has mandated all state governments to implement the Metro and monorail in all A-class cities and subsequently smaller cities. It is planning to increase freight transportation, achieve a quantum jump in rolling stock acquisition, introduce high-speed passenger trains, create dedicated freight corridors, improve safety systems and standards, adopt new technology in the field of rolling stock, signalling and telecommunication, undertake green initiatives, and accelerate network expansion. In the case of equipment, the Metro requires specialised tyre-mounted piling rigs, piling hammers, tyre-mounted heavy cranes, breakers, excavators, multi-axle hydraulic trailers and gantry cranes. Siepmann's Card Systems Pvt Ltd is among the pioneers in the automatic fare collection (AFC) segment. Managing Director P Ravindranath Bhas says, ¨We supply contactless smart cards for regular travellers and smart tokens for single journey. We use highly sophisticated machinery to make the smart card such as circuits through ultrasonic embedding process.¨ Bombardier is Delhi Metro´s largest contractor as far as signalling and train control solutions are concerned with over 120 km of line in operation or in progress for Delhi Metro´s Line-V, VI and VII. The company has received orders around $1 billion from Delhi Metro combining rolling stock delivering 614 metro cars and signalling solutions. Harsh Dhingra, Chief Country Representative, India, Bombardier Transportation, says, ¨The modern, high-capacity Bombardier Movia metro vehicles integrate some of the world's most advanced mobility technologies such as the Bombardier Mitrac propulsion and control system and the Bombardier Flexx Metro 3000 bogies, an extremely robust and reliable design. Our versatile portfolio of fully automated driverless technologies ensures effective urban flow, combining performance and flexibility with highly efficient passenger capacity, energy consumption and land use.¨
Faiveley Transport Rail Technologies has been manufacturing all brake and HVAC systems, pantograph and platform screen doors for the Metros. Executive Director Dhakshayani Kumar says, ¨The platform screen door acts as a barricade for safety and helps the air-conditioning system retain air within the platform areas. We have also started offering a door line system, a reinforced special fibre structure that avoids metallic corrosion between the door link and has more sound barricades.
Speed is the limit
Typically, Metros in the country are designed for a speed for 80 kmph. However, the actual operating speed is about 30 kmph, largely owing to the inter-station distances of about 1 km. High-speed metros typically have longer inter-station distances of 3 km to ensure average speed of 80 kmph and are designed for an operating speed of around 120 kmph. But is India geared for high-speed metros? And is it a requirement at all?
¨It provides connectivity between the airport and important business hubs with the main city,¨ responds Mishra. And Gadgil adds, ¨Metro cities with satellite townships around them will require a high-speed metro rail system to reduce commuting time.¨ However, Srivastava does not see the need for high-speed metros. ¨The country has still not got into the level of offering a good metro system and that should be the focus area,¨ he says. Mishra agrees that with only Delhi having ¨a good metro network¨, it will take considerable time to mature and provide high-speed metros.
Metro projects are capital-intensive and require large investments. Interest rates in India are to the tune of 11-13 per cent, which increases the overall project implementation costs. While foreign funding is provided to government-funded projects (DMRC, BMRC), Mishra urges that ¨similar facilities should be extended to private players with appropriate monitoring mechanisms in place.¨ In the long run, this will reduce operating costs and user fees. Meanwhile, Gadgil suggests that the civil infrastructure including viaduct could be done by the government agencies and experienced private companies could be invited to install and run rail systems. This would mitigate risk and drastically reduce funding requirements.On a positive note, Srivastava says that countries like Germany, Canada and France have shown interest in funding some of these projects. ¨The government can achieve a realistic viability gap analysis for these projects to know how much is actually needed,¨ he adds. ¨A detailed traffic study or detailed revenue analysis will help determine the exact cost for a project.¨
As for other current challenges in project execution (See box on Metro Challenges), here are Gadgil´s recommendations:
For his part, Mishra offers measures to reduce delays and increase in construction cost:
While having a Metro in one´s city has become as much fashion statement as transportation necessity, Srivastava concludes, ¨Rather than planning 25 projects at a time, the government should focus on five critical projects, complete them and then move forward. So in every two to three years, there will be a new Metro coming up.¨
Metro networks in nine cities covering 223 km at .Rs83,000 crore under consideration.
All state governments to implement Metro and monorail projects in all A-class cities.
Designed for 80 kmph, actual operating speed of metros in India is 30 kmph.
Activity-wise construction work procedures include:
Source: L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Ltd
Metro Rail Projects across India
Delhi Metro Phase-II
Mumbai Metro Line-I
Jaipur Metro Stage-I
Chennai Metro Phase-I
Delhi Metro Phase-III
Mumbai Metro Line-III
Bengaluru Metro Phase-I
Kolkata East-West Corridor
Kochi Metro Rail
APPROVED BY CABINET
Ahmadabad Metro Rail
Nagpur Metro Rail
APPROVED ´IN PRINCIPLE´
Pune Metro Rail
At .Rs11,802 crore
Lucknow Metro Rail
At .Rs6,928 crore
VB Gadgil, Chief Executive & Managing Director, L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Ltd, on the current challenges involved in the construction of metro projects:
DEALING WITH RAILWAYS OR DEFENCE
Long-drawn process of approval.
OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE RISK
¨TBM and related equipment is less than 8-10 per cent of project cost.¨
Designed to suit project-specific geological and hydrological conditions, Herrenknecht TBMs can achieve monthly advance rates far in excess of 300 m. Manoj Garg, Managing Director, Herrenknecht, elaborates.
Size: Currently, so-called single track twin-tube systems are under construction in India, i.e. there is a separate tunnel for either direction of travel. The inside diameter is typically 5,800 mm with the tunnel walls made of precast concrete elements with a thickness of 275 mm. A machine to suit these dimensions has a typical shield diameter of 6,600 mm.
TBM features: Tunnel construction with TBM is faster and less disruptive. Also, TBM tunnelling is much more environment-friendly compared to the cut-and-cover method, has a minimum impact on geology and water tables, uses no explosives, keeps dust and air pollution to a minimum, and minimally disrupts traffic flows.
Adding to project cost: TBM and related equipment is less than 8-10 per cent of project cost. Subject to proper maintenance, Herrenknecht TBMs can last for decades and be reused on projects with matching parameters, further reducing cost.
Training and after-sales services: Right from assembly erection of the first 200 m of tunnel and final acceptance, our engineers operate and maintain the TBM and related equipment. After-sales services are provided 24/7 by a pool of Indian and expatriate TBM experts stationed in New Delhi and Chennai.