28 March 2020

Interaction-Kumar Keshav, MD, Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation

The metro project will be a game-changer for the city of Lucknow

Lucknow the capital of Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state of India. The present population of Lucknow city is more than 3 million. Lucknow continues to grow and attract large number of people to the city. The rapid growth of the city and the associated urban sprawl has accentuated the demand-supply mismatch amidst constrained public transport infrastructure. To strengthen and argument the transport infrastructure of the city with a holistic multi-modal transport system, the Lucknow Metro Rail Project as an integrated mass public transport system meets the mobility and accessibility needs of people of Lucknow. KUMAR KESHAV, MD, LUCKNOW METRO RAIL CORPORATION spoke to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES in detail regards to this prestigious and game changing project.



Please brief us on the current status of the metro rail project?'

The Lucknow Metro project has a distinction of achieving the fastest metro construction. Work on Priority corridor which is from Transport Nagar Metro Station to Charbagh is completed while construction from the further underground station is in process. The project has successfully completed the first trial run on December 1, 2016. Currently the full-fledged trials run are on, and the project is fully prepared to take off.



What are the expected long-term impacts and opportunities from the project?

The metro project will be a game-changer for the city of Lucknow. Transport constitutes the backbone for urban development. The project will link the major localities of the city thus reducing commuting time from hours to minutes. It will also ease congestion and encroachment, a problem which has assumed a massive proportion in the recent years. The Metro Project is also expected to reduce the cost of travel and decrease fuel costs benefitting the economy. It will also decrease lakhs of man-hours. Boosting the transport and infrastructure is expected to attract more companies and services to the city bolstering the employment prospects and thus transforming it into a business hub. The project is eco-friendly and is expected to bring down pollution levels in the city. Given the slew of benefits it is expected to bring, it can be said that the economic rate of return of the project is very high.



How will construction of the metro rail project impact the community?

As I said earlier, the city of Lucknow is headed towards a considerable makeover with the operation of Lucknow Metro. We have seen that how metro project in Delhi heralded a cultural transition in the city. Similar is the case with Lucknow. The project will be the pride for the people of the city and they are expected to become more concerned towards civic issues.

During metro construction, we have ensured minimum hassles to the public. Traffic diversion was planned meticulously and public inconvenience caused was minimum.



Expected cost of the project and funds disbursed so far?

The cost of the project is estimated at 6, 880 crore for N-S Corridor. The funds for the project are being released in sync with the project development plans.



Any interesting highlights or features which distinguish this project from other metro rail projects?

Lucknow Metro will provide the commuters of Lucknow a state-of-the-art modern world class Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) that will be convenient, safe, fast, reliable, cost-effective and barrier-free for the especially-abled people.

It is an all-safety and equality measure. The salient features of Lucknow metro include automatic train operation, public information display system, public address system and centralized operation control system. Separate colour coding for trains is planned for different routes.

Being famed in the yesteryears as the renowned city of Awadh, heritage is an inseparable part Lucknow. The design of the metro train is inspired from the cultural heritage of the city.

Train exterior is a tribute to the cultural richness of the city of Lucknow. Exterior livery in golden color is inspired by the Chikankari craftsmanship. The front shape of train shows the spirit of the fabulous Roomi Gate, Bara-Imambara and Asifi Masjid. Blending of black color in front of car is inspired from the modern feel of Hazaratganj.



What are the challenges specific to this metro project?

Lucknow, being the capital city, metro construction was a difficult subject. Fortunately, we were able to garner favourable public opinion through consistent interaction with the public. Lucknow Metro has achieved the distinction of being the fastest Metro Project execution that has ever happened in the country so far. Racing against time to complete the project was in itself a big challenge for us.

The other challenges we faced were related to engineering construction.

  • At Mawaiya Railway Crossing, LMRC is carrying out its work for construction of a special balanced cantilever span of 255 meters (central span 105 meters; end spans of 75 meters each). This is one of the most critical jobs which is being executed at a height of 21.5 meters above the ground level while surpassing over a Railway Crossing at a height of 15.2 meters from the ground level under extremely difficult situations in the middle of the main road traffic.
  • At Awadh Rotary, Lucknow Metro is launching a 60 meter special steel span bridge crossing the rotary over a statue in the middle of the rotary. This bridge which has been built at a height of approximately 13 meters above the ground will connect both the ends of the Metro viaduct to provide a special seamless connectivity for Metro train operation. It is one of the rare kinds of work being done for any Metro project in the country.     



How do you justify cutting trees for a Metro?

Cutting of trees cannot be justified be it for any infrastructural development within the city. However, Lucknow Metro has ensured plantation of 10 trees for every tree uprooted which is more than the required government norms. It has also ensured the transplantation of trees.



What are the green initiatives taken for the metro project?

Lucknow Metro has been ensuring an environmental friendly mass rapid transport for the public from the first day of its inception. Lucknow Metro is taking several energy conservation measures such as the use of regenerative braking in the trains which will result in saving of 30 to 35 per cent traction energy thereby resulting in reduction in emission of Green House Gases (GHG), use of 1 per cent criteria for underground stations in the AC system for the stations, using Variable Voltage Variable Frequency (VVVF) drive for all lifts and escalators, provision of LED lights at stations, use of energy efficient equipment for Environmental Control System (ECS) and Tunnel Ventilation System (TVS) system for the underground station.

Currently, 1.5 MW – 2MW of electricity has been planned by Lucknow Metro to be used from the roof mounted photo voltaic cells of train stabling and inspection line sheds under the RESCO model. Because of all these novel measures, Lucknow Metro will be able to recover the entire cost of the project in 5 years.



Detail us with regards to the latest technologies like construction equipment, software, building materials etc being usedin the metro rail project.

Lucknow Metro Rolling Stocks (Metro Trains) have the most advanced signaling and train control system – called the Communication Based Train Control System (CBTC) - which will enable Metro trains to virtually operate on a ‘driverless’ mode. Body shells of cars are made of lightweight stainless steel. Trains are high energy –efficient with LED lighting and regenerative braking to feed about 30-35 per cent energy back to overhead electrical energy system during braking. All systems are monitored and selectively controlled by a microprocessor based Train Control & Management System (TCMS).

Automatic Train Protection (ATP) has been provided for automatic braking to prevent any collision. Trains will run in Automatic Train Operation (ATO) mode which also ensures that the train achieves timely, accurate and smooth station stops or stopping ahead of a restrictive point. Further, the Automatic Train Supervision (ATS) system will ensure automatic management of train movement by Automatic Route Setting and Automatic Train Regulation by supervising the train movement continuously and optimising the train movements in case of abnormalities.



Future outlook.

Currently, priority corridor which is from Transport Nagar Metro Station to Charbagh is completed while construction from the further underground station is in process and is slated to be completed by 2019. Once complete, the project will be the fastest and most economical high- speed rapid transit system project in India.

Metro construction is the need of the hour in Uttar Pradesh taking into account the fact that it is the most populous and important state. The government has taken initiative to embark on metro construction in key cities like Meerut, Kanpur, Agra and Varanasi etc.

Leave a Comment

Email Address
(will not be published)