25 Indian cities will have a total metro rail network of 1,700 km by 2025: Union Minister

Vinod Shah Posted on: 2021-02-27 10:40:00 Viewer: 5,120 Comments: 0 Country: India City: New Delhi

25 Indian cities will have a total metro rail network of 1,700 km by 2025: Union Minister

New Delhi, India (Urban Transport News): In a recent webinar, Union Minister for Housing & Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri has shared his vision for expanding the metro rail network in the country. He underlined the need for improved connectivity in Indian cities and highlighted the development made in building metro rail systems over the last six years.

Considering the metro rail system as the most sustainable mode of public transport, Minister said, "till 2014, only about 248 kilometres metro network was operational in five cities. With a consistent push by the government, the metro network has expanded by more than 469 km, and today a total of 717 km of the metro is operational in 18 cities."

He said that over the next few years, India will expand the metro rail network to around 1,000 km by the 75th year of India’s Independence, in 2022. At least 25 Indian cities will have a total metro rail network of 1,700 km by 2025.

“Under the new metro rail policy, our focus is to develop an inclusive system together with multimodal integration and last-mile connectivity,” Minister added.

Minister said that the government has conceptualised two new metro systems — Metro Lite and Metro Neo — for smaller cities with peak hour peak direction traffic or PHPDT of up to 50,000 and 8,000 respectively. "First Metro Neo system of Nasik with a network of 33 kilometres has been included in the 2021-22 budget. The first Metro Lite system is proposed between Rithala and Narela as part of Delhi Metro’s Phase IV project,” he added.

He also discussed the first Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) in the country, which is coming up between Delhi and Meerut. “This corridor is an innovative dual transit mode with RRTS and metro on the same infrastructure over 22 km in Meerut city,” Minister said.

Minister said that the government has managed to establish a robust manufacturing industry in the metro rail sector by standardising various components. "Standardisation ensures that that various metro rail components in new metro projects conform to prescribed standards, incentivising manufacturers to plan long term investment to set up manufacturing units", he said, adding, that this promotes indigenisation and reduces cost due to economies of scale.

Minister said that minimum local content required for rolling stock is 60 percent, for telecommunication 50 percent, signaling 50 percent, civil works 90 percent, electrical and mechanical 60 percent. “For example, the creation of domestic manufacturing capacity of the rolling stock component has lead to a considerable reduction in its cost..” he said adding, “64 sub-components of rolling stock, electrical and mechanical traction etc, have also been identified for procurement from local sources”.

Minister called metro rail projects a stellar example of ‘Make in India’. ‘Made in India’ metro equipment is also being exported to countries like Australia and Canada, Minister added.

Talking about growing population and burdon on urban centres Minister said that by 2030, more than 600 million people will be living in India’s urban centres, and we will have to cater to their demand, adding 600-700 km of metro lines every year, and that can happen only through domestic manufacturing. In the last two years, orders for 1,200 coaches have been placed with manufacturers in India such as BEML, Bombardier, Alstom etc, he added.

“If it were left entirely to the state governments, they would all demand regular metro rails of the kind we have. But the metro rail system is a capital intensive system… we want the best of infrastructure and yet shy away from the need to ensure that the project becomes economically viable,” the minister said, adding that the new metro systems like Metro Neo and Lite are helping ensure economic viability by bringing down the cost of constructing and operationalising metro down substantially.

"Construction of overhead metro in the conventional system cost Rs 300 crore per kilometre, which is a lot of money, the minister said. In the construction of underground metro costs, the cost could go up to Rs 500 crore per kilometre," he added.

“Metro Lite and Metro Neo are able to perform in terms of carrying capacity roughly the same load at a fraction of the cost,” he said, adding a Metro Line system can be employed when the peak hour peak direction traffic or PHPDT is 15,000, and Metro Neo can be used 8,000 PHPDT.

Minister said that in the case of Metro Lite, the cost per km come down to Rs 120-140 crore. In the case of Metro Neo, it comes down to Rs 60 to Rs 80 crore per km. It has required some persuasion, but the message has reached the states.

Talking about the need for Unified Metropolitan Transportation Authorities (UMTAs) Minister said that the government is moving in the direction of a Unified Metropolitan Transportation Authorities (UMTAs). The four states Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka already have it.

“We are insisting on this for every project that we now appraise. The creation of UMTAs will facilitate coordinated planning, implementation and management of urban transport programmes," he added.

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