Sudhir Chiplunkar, COO, L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad)
RAILWAYS & METRO RAIL

Sudhir Chiplunkar, COO, L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad)

The Hyderabad Metro Rail project has seen the transformation of L&T from a contractor to a concessionaire, and is touted to be the world’s largest metro project in PPP mode with technology as a key USP. Transit-oriented development (TOD) also plays a significant role in L&T’s operations and maintenance (O&M) model. That said, the pandemic-induced restrictions coupled with lack of last-mile connectivity, low ridership and increased operational cost have led to losses in operations. L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad has reportedly been making a loss of about Rs 5 crore a day, while its earnings are just Rs 1 crore a day; L&T is reportedly in talks with the state government to help overcome its losses. Sometime last year, reports also indicated that L&T was looking to exit the project as part of its overall plans to move away from non-core businesses.

In conversation with SERAPHINA D’SOUZA, while Sudhir Chiplunkar, COO, L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad), opted not to comment on how the organisation is strategising to overcome pandemic-related losses, he spoke on technology adoption in the railways and metro sectors, how these sectors have progressed, and more. Excerpts:

You have over three decades of experience in the implementation of mega railway and metro projects. How have you seen these sectors evolve in the past decade?
I have been with the metro sector for the past nine years, before which I was with the Indian Railways. As far as metro is concerned, there is tremendous thrust on adoption of new technologies in every aspect of the project, right from the concept stage to commissioning. In fact, our Indian metro system today is on a par with any other metro system in the world, whether it is the signalling system (CBTC), modern lightweight aluminium built rolling stock or the adaptation of BIM. Right from the project stage to asset management, we are focused on digitisation.

Click here to know more…

The Hyderabad Metro Rail project has seen the transformation of L&T from a contractor to a concessionaire, and is touted to be the world’s largest metro project in PPP mode with technology as a key USP. Transit-oriented development (TOD) also plays a significant role in L&T’s operations and maintenance (O&M) model. That said, the pandemic-induced restrictions coupled with lack of last-mile connectivity, low ridership and increased operational cost have led to losses in operations. L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad has reportedly been making a loss of about Rs 5 crore a day, while its earnings are just Rs 1 crore a day; L&T is reportedly in talks with the state government to help overcome its losses. Sometime last year, reports also indicated that L&T was looking to exit the project as part of its overall plans to move away from non-core businesses. In conversation with SERAPHINA D’SOUZA, while Sudhir Chiplunkar, COO, L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad), opted not to comment on how the organisation is strategising to overcome pandemic-related losses, he spoke on technology adoption in the railways and metro sectors, how these sectors have progressed, and more. Excerpts: You have over three decades of experience in the implementation of mega railway and metro projects. How have you seen these sectors evolve in the past decade? I have been with the metro sector for the past nine years, before which I was with the Indian Railways. As far as metro is concerned, there is tremendous thrust on adoption of new technologies in every aspect of the project, right from the concept stage to commissioning. In fact, our Indian metro system today is on a par with any other metro system in the world, whether it is the signalling system (CBTC), modern lightweight aluminium built rolling stock or the adaptation of BIM. Right from the project stage to asset management, we are focused on digitisation. Click here to know more…

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