Leveraging Connectivity in the City of Nawabs, the Metro Way
Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation has been prioritizing the inclusiveness of its people involved across the level to have bagged Silver Award from the International Royal Society for The Prevention Of Accidents (RoSPA) for Phase I (North-South Corridor), says Keshav Kumar, Managing Director, Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation. Read on to know more about LMRC’s strategic approach in mastering the holistic development of Smart Cities, the Metro way. Poulami Chakraborty of BW SmartCities World writes:
LMRC has achieved many significant milestones and engineering feats for itself in the recent past. What has been the motivation and inspiration for being in the forefront and creating a positive synergy in a government ecosystem?
Lucknow Metro has set records straight by achieving significant milestones and has many firsts for any metro rail in India. It’s the entire team of the Lucknow Metro alongside the support and affection of the people of Lucknow which keeps us inspired, upbeat and helps us achieve such milestones. The LMRC is fortunate to have an efficient team that beliefs in performance and on-time delivery.
The 23 km North-South corridor is completed much ahead of its deadline and is operational too. How did you manage to achieve this extraordinary feat for LMRC?
The Lucknow Metro has made operational the 22.878-km-long corridor much ahead of the initial deadline of April 2019. We faced uncountable challenges throughout the construction phase but with strong determination along with the continuous day and night hard work of the entire team, Lucknow Metro has emerged as a fine example of excellence in the field of Mass Rapid Transit System. I would also attribute this achievement to the people of Lucknow, who has been immensely supportive of this project ever since its inception. It is because of their patience and cooperation that we have been able to realize this dream of a Metro in the 'City of Nawabs'.
Please apprise us of Phase II and other future plans of LMRC.
We have completed Phase I in record time and now the focus is on Phase II. The 11.098 km long East-West Corridor of Phase II will connect Charbagh to Vasantkunj. The corridor will have 12 stations - Charbagh (proposed), Gautam Buddha Marg, Aminabad, Pandey Ganj, Lucknow City Railway Station, Medical Chauraha, Nawajganj, Thakurganj, Balaganj, Sarfarazganj, Musabagh, and Vasantkunj.
Earlier in March 2019, LMRC has cracked down on illegal parking spots. Are there any concrete and permanent measures to keep this problem at bay? Do you observe any improvement in city life after this step?
Lucknow Metro is committed for removing encroachment and illegal parking in order to provide easy access to the commuters and eliminate traffic jams around the metro stations. The Chief Security Commissioner and Security Commissioner of the LMRC along with local traffic officials are keeping a regular check on the illegal parking. Due to our efforts, the traffic around metro stations is much smoother now.
What plans LMRC is having in the pipeline to enhance connectivity in the city? Any specific MoU’s in cards?
Phase I of the Lucknow Metro has already provided citizens with a comfortable, safe and time-saving mode of transportation. Once Phase II becomes operational, the total length of the LMRC network will be around 34 km. With these two phases, LMRC will be able to provide direct connectivity to the airport, bus station as well as the city railway station and other prominent places. Thus, provides seamless and jam-free connectivity. Also, the LMRC has signed contracts with prominent players for property development, with Radio City for infotainment, with HDFC Bank for Smart Cards, besides having tie-ups with various national and international consultants and experts for providing world class services and experience to the commuters.
Earlier in 2018, LMRC has received International Award for safety. Please elaborate to us, what has been the motivation behind this? How have you been able to improve this attribute further in all your projects?
Lucknow Metro has received the Silver Award from the International Royal Society for The Prevention Of Accidents (RoSPA) for Phase 1A (North-South Corridor) in the Project/Infrastructure category for the year 2018. We have been working not only to provide a safer mode of transport but our priorities have been to ensure health and safety for every single person associated with the execution of the project- be it staff, customers, clients or contractors. We have achieved this in Phase I and are confident enough to better it in our next projects.
LMRC and HDFC bank have signed an MoU in a bid for counter-less ticketing. Please elaborate to us about this initiative? What has been the progress and how has it benefitted the common mass?’
LMRC's tie-up with HDFC Bank is a big step towards the evolution of digital payment mechanisms for the metro commuters. The HDFC Bank facility has enabled customers of all banks to purchase metro tokens and prepaid cards easily by making it cashless. With the tie-up, the LMRC has made it convenient for commuters to purchase token, reload prepaid GoSmart cards using any debit card, credit card, or net banking facility, on the website of Lucknow Metro. Passengers using the GoSmart cards are getting facilities like free WiFi, hassle-free travel as well as freedom from standing in queues with online recharge facility.
Earlier in 2018, LMRC asserted that its ridership will touch 3 lakhs daily. Do you see any improvement in the ridership of Lucknow Metro Rail? How have you achieved this?
LMRC had started public operations with the 8.5 km Priority Corridor from Transport Nagar to Charbagh. With the commissioning of the entire 22.878 km corridor from CCS Airport-Munshi Pulia, the Lucknow Metro has been recording a very high ridership and is hopeful of multiplying it manifolds in the coming months as the corridor connects prominent destinations like airport, bus station, educational institutes, and major markets.
How important do you feel is Metro Rail for the growth of any smart cities. Your view.
Any smart city is incomplete without an environment-friendly, safe, and time-saving mode of the public transportation system. Lucknow Metro fits the bill of any smart city planned anywhere in the world. It is not only a safer, faster but also energy efficient system.
For the safety of the commuters, LMRC has taken a number of steps such as the use of fire retardant material, fire smoke detection & protection, the use of emergency communication facilities including talkback facility for passengers within the coaches. To create a sustainable environment LMRC's Metro stations and Depot have been designed and built as 'Green' buildings in accordance with the standards of the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). Along with it, a Waste Composting Machine has been installed in the depot. Special arrangements have been made for visually impaired, the person with disabilities and senior citizens.
Lucknow Metro has taken many initiatives such as regenerative braking in the trains which will result in saving 30-35% traction energy, use of 1% criteria for underground stations in the air conditioning system, 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 stations etc. Currently, Lucknow Metro has planned 1.5- 2MW solar energy under the RESCO model from the roof-mounted photovoltaic cells on stabling and inspection sheds in Transport Nagar Car Maintenance Depot.