KCR’S Proposal May Delay Hyderabad Metro Rail Project
The prestigious Hyderabad Metro Rail which is expected to be commissioned during 2015 is all set to be delayed following the directions of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao to make the project partially underground. The Chief Minister is said to have issued oral directions to the L&T authorities to stop the works on Chaderghat-Khairtabad stretch which he wants to go underground instead of elevated corridor.
The Chief Minister on the floor of the state assembly announced that the Hyderabad Metro Rail alignment would be changed soon to protect heritage structures in the city. Replying to the debate on the motion of thanks to the Governor’s address in the state assembly, he said he was determined to implement his earlier demands on metro rail.
“I have already instructed the metro rail officials to change the alignment,” he informed the House. Elaborating on how he wants it changed, he pointed out: “We are planning to have an underground route near the assembly to protect heritage buildings. I will not allow the destruction of Sultan Bazar at any cost. I will not allow metro rail in Sultan Bazar. The alignment will be changed.”
The officials of the Hyderabad Metro Rail felt there was a need for fresh proposals since the state government is determined to change the alignment. If the alignment is changed, the land acquisition process has to commence afresh which is time consuming and may face stiff opposition from land owners.
The affected parties may move the High Court if the alignment is changed at Badi Chowdi and Sultan Bazar. And, underground metro rail is going to be a costly affair too, officials said, adding it would be double the expenditure being incurred on the elevated system. They also argued that most of the developed countries have only elevated metro rail.
Meanwhile, sources in the L&T said that KCR’s proposal was not practical due to technical reasons. Besides, it will escalate the costs by over Rs 2,000 crore and the entire project would be delayed by at least five years.
The Chaderghat to Khairtabad stretch is of about 8 kilometres and the Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) authorities will have installed nearly 30 pillars per kilometre for the project. So far, nearly 60 pillars have already been installed on the stretch at a cost of over Rs 50-60 lakh each.
If the project goes underground, the demolition of these pillars would additional money.
To take the metro rail underground, the HMR authorities would have to dig the entire stretch 20-25 metres deep. The depth will be nearly 30-35 metres at the stations. It will also require an area of 4-5 acres radius at the starting point of digging. The depth will be 30-40 metres near the railway tracks. Therefore, the digging of underground route for the metro rail will be time consuming and costly affair. Further, the entire stretch of 8 KM will have to be close down for traffic to carryout digging.
Therefore, the proposal to make HMR partially underground might delay the entire project. The HMR and L&T authorities have written a letter to the Principal Secretary of Municipal Administration & Urban Development Department seeking clarification on the views expressed by the Chief Minister. However, they are still waiting for a reply.
It is noteworthy that the first metro train that was rolled out from Korea to Hyderabad in May, which was expected to put on tracks during June, is said to be delayed due to the new government’s attitude. While three coaches reached in May, another three coaches reached in June. If all goes on well, the inauguration of the first phase from Nagole to Mettuguda may take place on March 21, 2015.
The total metro rail project was taken with the total outlay of Rs 20,000 crore and the project is the largest investment of L&T ever made in any one single city. L&T has built the largest precast yard in India in a city for the project. It is the first to use Communication based Train Control (CBTC).
CBTC is a railway signaling system that makes use of the telecommunications between the train and track equipment for the traffic management and infrastructure control. By means of the CBTC systems, the exact position of a train is known more accurately than with the traditional signaling systems. This results in a more efficient and safe way to manage the railway traffic. Metros (and other railway systems) are able to improve headways while maintaining or even improving safety. It is the next generation of signaling technology that is increasingly adopted in subways and other new modes of transportation.
The project has state-of-the-art rolling stock with the high regeneration of power. Like dynamo of bicycles that produces free power, the state-of -the-art rolling stock too will generate 30 per cent of the power. The trains will be using regenerative electric braking thereby converting the momentum into electrical energy and feeding back to power supply system while braking. As a contribution towards the CDM this will reduce the energy requirement from the grid,
VB Gadgil, Chief Executive and Managing Director of L&T, informed in reply to a question as to how L&T is going to manage power requirements of the project.
According to Gadgil, the metro rail project when it is completed in five years span will register a record for the shortest construction period for 72 kms stretch in just five years, which will be a world record. Stating that safety of the passengers is their utmost concern, he said a provision is made to run an empty train every day morning on entire stretch to check if all the lines are intact and safe for the travel of the passengers.
The 66 railway stations that will come up will have senior citizens and physically challenged friendly facilities and conveniences such as escalators, elevators and stairways. Each station is designed to accommodate two train passengers, i.e 1800 passengers at any given point of time.
The trains will have initially three coaches each—one will accommodate maximum of three hundred passengers. Subsequently and during peak times/hours these coaches can go up to six. This translates to 60,000 riders being transported in a single direction every hour, with a train every two seconds.
Based on a number of traffic and transportation studies conducted by various agencies, Government of Andhra Pradesh (GoAP) approved development of Hyderabad Metro Rail project in three high density traffic corridors of the city spanning across 72 km in phase-I. Detailed Project Reports (DPRs), Traffic Survey Reports, and other related reports were prepared by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for the project.
By Ch Narendra from Hyderabad