26 June 2019

Interaction-I P Gautam, MD, Mega Company Ltd

We are committed to deliver World Class and most cost efficient metro

Ahmedabad – Gandhinagar Metro rail project is being promoted with the objective of providing safe, fast and eco-friendly transportation services to the public at affordable rates while simultaneously reducing the congestion on the roads. The metro rail project will promote integration with AMTS, BRTS, Railways and other modes of public transit system.I. P. GAUTAM, MD, MEGA COMPANY LTD, offered CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES the latest update on the metro rail project and its long term impacts.

 

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

On 4th February 2010, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) namely, Metro-Link Express for Gandhinagar & Ahmedabad (MEGA) Company Ltd. was incorporated by the Government of Gujarat to implement Metro Rail Project under the Companies Act, 1956. The company was restructured and with effect from 20th March 2015 the Company has been converted as a 50: 50 SPV of Government of India and Government of Gujarat.

Loan Agreement of Rs.5968 cr between JICA and GoI signed on 4-3-2016.

 

East West Corridor

  • Contract for construction of Under Priority reach (Vastral Gam to Apparel Park viaduct) awarded on 04-02-2015.
  • Contract for construction of Under Priority reach (Vastral Gam to Apparel Park Station) awarded on 21-08-2015.
  • Approx. 2.68 km viaduct construction work has been completed.
  • Contract for construction of Under Ground package 2 awarded on 25-01-2017.
  • Contract for construction of Under Ground package 1 awarded on 02-03-2017.
  • Contract for construction of Western Reach awarded on 25-01-2017.

North South Corridor

  • Contract for construction of North South package 1 (Gyaspur Depot to Shreyas) awarded on 13-1-2016.
  • Contract for construction of North South package 4A (Ranip to Motera Viaduct only) awarded on 13-1-2016.
  • Contract for construction of North South Package 2 & 3 (Shreyas to Ranip) awarded on 31-12-2016.
  • Contract for construction of North South Package 4 B (Ranip to Motera Stations only) awarded on 6-2-2017.

 

 

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

The project operation will bring both positive and negative impacts. Operation of metro will decongest roads, reduce air and noise pollution and have some impact on environment. The Metro will yield non-tangible benefits such as savings in vehicle operating costs, less travel time, better accessibility, integration of different modes of transport. Some social impacts have been listed:

Benefits to Economy due to:

  • Employment Opportunities
  • Reduction in number of vehicle trips
  • Cost savings due to reduction in number of vehicle trips
  • Reduction in Air pollution

 

 

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

The project has many positive environmental impacts like reduction in traffic congestion, saving in travel time, reduction in air and noise pollution, lesser fuel consumption, lesser road accidents etc.

Traffic diversion: During construction period, partial traffic diversions on road will be required, as most of the construction is to be carried out on the middle of the road.

Muck disposal: The construction of tunnelling activity will generate about 16,03,000 m3 of muck. The muck will be transported up to nearest proposed option. Being the good road condition in Ahmedabad, the dust generation due to transportation of muck will be insignificant.

Ground and Surface Water: Insignificant impact will be anticipated on surface water for the elevated section of the Metro. For underground section, as a precautionary measure, detailed hydrological investigation will be undertaken prior to the construction of tunnel to locate the ground water aquifer falling in the alignment of metro tunnel and to safeguard the ground water flow wherever feasible.

Air Pollution: The monitoring results of pollutants such as NO2, SO2 and CO are much below the national standards (NAAQS, CPCB) and dust concentrations monitored are 1.3 – 2.2 times higher than the standard value. Hence, dust could be the problem when the project is under construction.

Noise Pollution: The major sources of noise pollution during construction are movement of vehicles for transportation of construction material and the construction machinery/equipment at the construction site. The construction activities are expected to produce noise levels in the range of 104 - 109 dB (A) at source which decreases with increase in distance. Exposure to noise may lead to complete hearing loss, tension, fatigue, fast pulse/ respiration rates, dizziness & loss of balance, anger, irritation and in extreme case nervousness.

Impact due to Vibration: Directorate General of Mines and Safety (DGMS) prescribed permissible limit of ground vibration (INDIA). The permissible limit of ground vibration considered here at frequency 8-25 Hz for

  • Domestic houses/structures–10 mm/s
  • Objects of historical importance & sensitive structures – 5 mm/s

As per the results of vibration study, the archaeological structures are at safe distance and the there would be no vibration impact on these structures due to TBM tunneling. However, the predicted vertical vibration above tunnel is reaches 5 mm/s which can damage the structures. Precautionary measures needs to be taken during construction.

Health risk at construction site: Health risks include accidents due to improper construction practice and hazard diseases due to lack of sanitation facilities (i.e., water supply and human waste disposal).

DPR for Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project March 2015 7/19

Impact on Sensitive Receptors: About 135 numbers of sensitive receptors identifiedwithin 100 m on either side of both the alignment. The major impacts to the sensitive receptors are due to noise and vibration.

 

 

Expected cost of the project and funds disbursed so far? Expected Cost of Project:

 

Description

Cost at April 2014 price level (Rs.in crore)

Land

705.84

Alignment & Formation

1593.76

Station Building

1745.65

Depot

318.62

P-Way

369.78

Traction & N Power Supply

436.54

S&T works

960.01

R &R hutments

125.78

Misc.

260.38

Rolling Stock

905.54

Security

11.12

Staff quarter for O&M

49.64

Capital Expenditure on Multi Modal Traffic

67.98

General Charges @ 5% (Except Land)

342.24

Contingency @ 3%

215.61

Total

8129.00

Total Taxes & Duties

1197.31

Total

9326.31

Escalation Cost @ 7.5% per annum up to project completion

1348.69

IDC

98.00

Total Completion cost

10773

 

 

 

 

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

The proposed metro in Ahmedabad has two corridors totaling 35.956 km and 32 stations, including terminal stations. It traverses across the city in the north-south and east-west direction and along its path covers many important origins and destinations.

Ahmedabad has planned for a multi-modal system, where the proposed metro complements the existing BRTS and AMTS services. North-South Corridor of Ahmedabad Metro will run parallel to Indian Railways Meter Guage Corridor for Approx. 8.9 km. Ahmedabad Metro Rail will be having inter change station with High Speed rail at Sabarmati and Ahmedabad Railway station.

 

 

What are the challenges specific to this metro project?

The key challenge being faced by this metro project is two-fold. The first is the acquisition of private land. Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project is being constructed in limited ROW. It is passing through thickly populated areas of Ahmedabad such as in the east, near Amraiwadi and Vastral, and in the walled city. The project has to be in a way to ensure that the minimum amount of land needs to be acquired. This in itself is a difficult task as strict design guidelines need to be followed for the safety and operational feasibility of the train. Even after the designing, however, it is a very long and difficult process to go to the field and acquire the land from private land owners. Each individual’s needs and priorities are different, which the company needs to respect. The financial and emotional attachments that people have to their property are also very strong, which makes most people unwilling to contribute their land to the project. Even after the land has been acquired, the company needs to take steps to ensure that the people who have been displaced are able to meet the living standards that they had before. This is one of the major challenges being faced by this project.

The second challenge was that the underground section is passing through old city having ASI monuments near metro alignment. As per the AMASR Act, 2010, it is not permitted to construct any structures within 100m of these monuments. The route for the tunnels needs to be very carefully planned as the train itself also needs long curves to be able to turn and move fast at the same time.

 

 

How do you justify cutting trees for a Metro?

The metro is a public project intended to provide fast, efficient and environmentally friendly transport and also to integrate the various transport systems of the city like BRTS, AMTS and the railways. The construction of the metro requires the construction of viaducts, stations and tunnels, which are heavy infrastructure and because they are to be used by public, they must meet strict safety guidelines. Along the entire metro alignment, the presence of trees can hamper the construction of the infrastructure as well as movement of the train. Hence the cutting of some trees is required.

In order to ensure that this does not result in a loss of green cover for the city, the following steps have been taken:

Minimal required tree cutting.

  • First, MEGA and AMC jointly identified all trees, belonging to public and private land, up to a width of 11 m on both sides of the metro alignment.
  • Only trees that are within 6m of both sides of the alignment actually need to be cut. As the construction progresses, construction team identifies exactly which trees are falling within this area and absolutely need to be cut. The extent of cutting required is also identified i.e. trimming, total cutting etc.
  • AMC is then requested to remove or trim the trees as per MEGA’s requirement.

Plantation

  • In lieu of every tree that is removed, AMC will plant 10 trees. For example, if 5 trees need to be removed for construction of a pier, then AMC will plant 50 trees in lieu of the 5 trees that were cut. Cost of planting new trees is borne by MEGA.
  • Therefore, the cutting of a bare minimum number of trees is a necessity and appropriate steps to ensure plantation is done are being taken.

 

 

What are the green initiatives taken for the metro project?

The metro will yield multiple environmental benefits for Ahmedabad. Broadly, they are:

Reduced Vehicular Pollution

  • As people shift from private modes to the metro and also other modes like BRTS and AMTS (because the metro will integrate with BRTS and AMTS networks), proportion of private vehicles in the overall transport system will decrease. Therefore, emissions from private vehicles will also be reduced.
  • Congestion will also be reduced on roads as people shift to metro. This will result in less waiting time, less exhaust emissions and less vehicular air pollution.

Carbon Credits

MEGA has applied for registration of the Ahmedabad Metro Project in the CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) Program to the UNFCCC. DMRC, with an expertise in carbon accreditation have been hired as consultants for registration of Ahmedabad metro Rail Phase I as a CDM project.

Solar Energy

Solar panels are proposed to be installed on the roofs of structures in the depot and the stations to generate power.

LEDs will be used for lighting throughout the metro project to reduce power consumption as far as possible. The viaduct, depot and stations will also be designed to harvest as much rainwater as possible and to ensure proper groundwater recharge.

 

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

Modern construction technologies are being used in Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project like, TBM machine for underground construction work, rotatory rigs etc. Various software like primavera Midas, Bentley rail track, SAP are being used in the Ahmedabad Metro rail Project.

 

Future outlook.

Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project will connect Gandhinagar and Airport in Phase II.




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