Indore Metro – Information, Route Maps, Fares, Tenders & Updates

Source: Metrorailnews, 22 January 2022

Information
Indore Metro is an under construction mass rapid transit system (MRTS) being built to serve Indore, the most populous and largest city of Madhya Pradesh state, by the Madhya Pradesh Metro Rail Co Limited (MPMRCL).

Indore Metro’s master plan with 94 kms of routes was prepared by Rohit Associates Cities & Rails Pvt.Ltd and envisions 4 metro lines & 2 spurs criss-crossing the city out of which 1 line (Yellow Line / Line-3 – a ring line) has been selected for implementation in Phase 1.

Indore Metro’s Phase 1 project’s Detailed Project Report (DPR) with 33.53 km of routes was approved by the state government in December 2016 and by the Central Government’s cabinet in October 2018.

Indore Metro Phase 1’s Deadline: August 2023
My Completion Estimate: 2027
The project was originally planned to be partly funded through an official development assistance (ODA) loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), but will now be funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for an undisclosed amount and New Development Bank (NDB) for $225 million.

In September 2019, the Phase 1 project’s foundation stone was laid was by the state’s Chief Minister. Construction work commenced in February 2019 and is expected to be completed in 2026.

System Specifications
Top Speed: 80 kmph
Average Speed: 34 kmph
Track Gauge: Standard Gauge – 1435 mm
Electrification: 750 V DC Third Rail
Signalling: Communications-based Train Control (CBTC)
Key Figures
Operational: 0 km | Under Construction: 5.29 km | Approved: 26.24 km | Proposed: 57.18 km

Estimated Cost: Rs.7500.80 cr
Estimated Daily Ridership: 2.50 lakh/day (2027)
Indore Metro Phase 1 Lines (Approved)
Yellow Line (Line-3): Palasia – Railway Station – Rajwara- Airport – Bhawarsala – MR10 – Palasia (Ring Line)

Length: 33.53 km
Type: Elevated & Underground
Status: 5.29 km is under construction between ISBT/MR10 Flyover – Mumtaj Bag Colony
Depot: Super Corridor
Number of Stations: 30
Station Names: Bhawarsala Square, MR 10 Road, ISBT / MR 10 Flyover, Chandragupta Square, Hira Nagar, Bapat Square, Meghdoot Garden, Vijay Nagar Square, Radisson Square, Mumtaj Bag Colony, Bengali Square, Patrakar Coloy, Palasia Square, High Court / Hotel Residency, Indore Railway Station, Rajwada Palace, Maulana Azad Marg, Bada Ganpati, Ramchandra Nagar Square, Kalani Nagar, BSF, Airport, Gandhi Nagar Nanod, Super Corridor 6, Super Corridor 5, Super Corridor 4, Super Corridor 3, Super Corridor 2 and Super Corridor 1
Indore Metro Proposed Lines
Line-1A: Sri Aurobindo Hospital – Collectorate office – Indore Bypass 1

Number of Stations: 18
Station Names: Sri Aurobindo Hospital, Bhawarsala Square, Sanwer Industrial Area, Ganesh Sham Colony, Banganga, Laxmibai Nagar Square, Mara Mata Square, Imli Bazar Chowk, Rajwada Palace, Collectorate Office, Indore Icchapur Rail Crossing, Tower Square, Bhawarkuan Square, Holkar University/IT Park, Rani Bagh, Limbodi, Ralamandal, Indore Bypass 1
Line-1B: Sri Aurobindo Hospital – Collectorate office – Regional Park (1B)

Number of Stations: 13
Station Names: Sri Aurobindo Hospital, Bhawarsala Square, Sanwer Industrial Area, Ganesh Sham Colony, Banganga, Laxmibai Nagar Square, Mara Mata Square, Imli Bazar Chowk, Rajwada Palace, Collectorate Office, Central Excise, Choithram, Regional Park
Line-2: Dewas Naka – Juni Indore – MHOW

Number of Stations: 28
Station Names: Dewas Naka, Niranjanpur Circle, Aranya Nagar, IDA Park, Vijay Nagar Square, Bhamori, Patni Pura/St Joseph Church, Malwa Mill Square, Raj Kumar Bridge, Indore Railway Station, Juni Indore, Collectorate Office, Mhow Naka, Dusshera Maidan, Annapuran Temple, Narmada Public School (Ring Road), Rajendra Nagar, Reti Mandi, IPS Academy, Shramik Colony, Indore Bypass-2, Pigdambar, Umariya, Maa Vaishanodevi Hospital, Haranyakheri / IIT Indore, Chinar Residency, MHOW
Line-4: MR9 – Indore Railway Station – Indore Bypass 4

Number of Stations: 16
Station Names: MR9, Convention Center, Lahiya Colony, Chandragupta Square, Sukliya, Nanda Nagar Main Road, Mazdoor Maidan, Rajkumar Bridge, Indore Railway Station, Chhavani, Sri Agrasen Maharaj Chowk, Navlakha Bus Station, Teen Imli, Babul Nagar, Musakhedi, Indore Bypass 4

ndore Metro Fares (Ticket Prices)
Indore Metro’s fare structure, prices and rules have not been announced yet. That will be finalized closer to the start of commercial operations. MPMRCL plans to use the latest technologies for its automatic fare collection (AFC) system to allow QR codes and Near Field Communication (NFC) phones to utilize the system.

Indore Metro Tenders
Latest Indore Metro tender notices can be viewed on MPMRCL’s website. News on these notices, their bidders and contracts are covered in further detail here on news & construction page.

Indore Metro Contractors List

ContractContractor
Detailed Project Report (DPR) PreparerRohit Associates Cities & Rails Pvt.Ltd
General Consultant (GC)  DB Engineering & Consulting GmbH – Geodata Engineering S.p.A. – Louis Berger Group JV Detailed Design Consultant (DDC) of Line-3’s Depot RITES – Ardanuy Ingeniería JV  
Package BH-IN-02: 156 Rolling Stock Cars for Bhopal & Indore metros including Signaling and Train Control and Telecommunication Systems  Bidding Underway (bids to be opened January 27)  
Package-02A/01: Construction of 5.29 km viaduct between ISBT/MR10 Flyover – Mumtaj Bag ColonyDilip Buildcon Ltd.  
Package IN-02: Construction of 7 stations between ISBT/MR10 Flyover – Radisson SquareURCC (3 bids received in July 2021)
Package IN-03: Construction of 10.927 km MR10 Road Station – Gandhi Nagar Station section with 9 elevated stations on Super Corridor’Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL) (only 1 bid received from RVNL in July 2021)
Package IN-07: Gandhi Nagar DepotTechnical bid evaluation underway – 16 bids received
Package IN-09: 750 V DC 3rd Rail, SCADA, Power Supply, RSS, TSS & ASSBidding Underway (bids to be opened February 2)


Indian Railways exploring ‘at-grade’ construction options for semi-high-speed trains to avoid high cost

Source: Metrorailnews, 06 January 2022

Indian Railways has hired a consultant to examine the feasibility of running trains at a maximum speed of 200 kmph on the ground rather than on an elevated structure, which would be a low-cost alternative for a semi-high-speed track.

Aside from recommending low-cost semi-high-speed railway technology suitable for Indian conditions, the consultant will also look into the possibility of using Vande Bharat trainsets and the TCAS (train collision avoidance system) on the broad-gauge network, which is expected to give the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative a big boost.

Viaducts are currently being built for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed line, and the Delhi-Meerut RRTS and Metro service is available on either an elevated or underground construction. While constructing a kilometre of elevated structure costs around Rs 300 crore, at-grade construction for high-speed or semi-high-speed trains costs only Rs 30 crore.

Semi-high speed trains travel on standard gauges worldwide, just like RRTS and Airport Metro. In addition, the consultant will look into the possibility of running semi-high-speed trains on broad gauge rails. The national transporter would benefit from using the BG line because the whole Indian Rail network is on broad gauge (BG).

For Indian Railways, the BG network, indigenously developed TCAS, and Vande Bharat trainsets are the best solutions. However, it would save much money if semi-high-speed trains could run on the ground instead of elevated structures. A senior Railway Ministry official explained that the goal is to put up an at-grade level and avoid elevated structures/viaducts to save money.

The consultant has been tasked with examining several technical solutions and recommending to Indian Railways the best-optimized semi-high-speed technology for running trains at a maximum speed of 200 kmph on wide-gauge routes.

The consultant would also connect with road networks such as the National Highway, state highways, and existing rail tracks for the planned semi-high-speed corridors. According to the authority, aligning with rail or road networks will alleviate land acquisition and forest clearance issues for the trains. There are roughly eight potential semi-high-speed train lines that would connect all of the country’s major cities.

5 Bidders emerged for Agra Metro’s Electrification Contract AGE-1 & 2

Source: Metrorailnews, 19 January 2022

AGRA (Metro Rail News): After the Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation (UPMRC) opened tenders today, five organisations filed offers for the 750 V DC Third Rail electrification system of the Agra Metro Phase 1 project. Package AGE-1 & 2 for the Agra Metro is one of the few bid independently, with the remainder (rolling stock, telecommunications, rails, and so on) being combined with the newly functioning Kanpur Metro.

The UPMRC invited tenders for it in October 2021, with an Rs. 450 crore budget and a 36-month timeline –  funded by a 450 million Euro (about Rs. 3860 crores) loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Design, Supply, Installation, Testing and Commissioning of Receiving cum Aux Main Substations Incl HV Cabling from Grid Substations,750 V DC 3rd Rail Traction System,33kV Cable Network, ASS, TSS and SCADA Sys for Corr-1and2 of Agra Metro Rail Project UP are some of the brief scopes for the project.

The following were the bidders for the project:

Alstom Transport India Ltd.
Larsen & Toubro Ltd.
Linxon India Pvt. Ltd.
Siemens Ltd.
Sterling & Wilson Pvt. Ltd.
The bids have now been transferred to the technical bid evaluation team, which could take a few months. After that, the financially qualifying bidders’ financial bids will reveal who is the lowest bidder and most probable contractor.

In February 2019, India’s Central Government approved Phase 1 of the Agra Metro, which includes two lines and 28 stations with a combination of elevated and underground sections.

• Line 1: Sikandra – Taj East Gate (14.25 km, 14 stations)
• Line 2: Agra Cantt. – Kalindi Vihar (15.40 km, 15 stations)

UPMRC has stipulated a 12-month deadline for Line-1’s 3 km Priority Corridor (Taj East Gate – Fatehabad Road) section, which is under construction by Sam India Builtwell (viaduct & stations) and Lisha Engineers (PAC Depot).

Future of Metro Rail in India

Source: http://www.metrorailnews.in, 29 December 2021

Metro rails are the most desirable infrastructures for the cities in India. They are known for facilitating people’s safe, quick, and easy movement. The transit system helps connect the hard-to-reach places with the rest of the city, which dissipates congestion as people reduce the usage of their vehicles. Moreover, with the inception of metro rail, the quality of life of people has also improved by providing more economic activities to the less influential segment of society. In this era of population explosion, the incoming of metro rail has proved to be a boon for society. With the pace with which Indian cities are getting populous, the Mass Rapid Transit Systems are the need of the hour.

The National Metro Rail Policy of 2017 has also advised the cities with a population of 20 lakhs or more to look for Mass rapid Transit Systems. Metro Rail is just one type of the MRTS, others being the:

Busways and bus rapid transit systems.
Light Rail Transit
Tramways
Regional Rail
India is investing heavily in the country’s transport infrastructure, imitating the Western Transportation System. The prospects of the metro rail are pretty bright in India. Cities are witnessing fast growth in the economic domain, and the clear manifestation is the increased number of personal vehicles. The negative side of the coin is that it has resulted in severe congestion and an increase in the pollution level of a country. The remedying efforts are required in the public transportation system, and the most pressing need is the implementation of the MRTS.

Metro rail has seen substantial growth in India in recent years, and the rate of growth is going to become twice or thrice in the coming years. The cities are facing the need for metro rail to meet daily mobility requirements. The metro rail encourages the walkable developmental pattern, which is also beneficial for society. The other merit of Metro rail is that it reduces cost and travelling time, which lowers the cost of production of goods and services, which significantly improves the city’s competitiveness. The pollution level has also reduced with the maximum public transport usage, bringing down chronic diseases and resulting in public health benefits.

Planning and implementation of Metro rail Projects: State government is the sole authority responsible for the Urban Development as the matter comes under the state list. That’s why it becomes necessary for the State Governments to make their regions more advanced and developed without hurting the economic sentiments of the people. Urban transport is inseparable and intricately connected with the issues of Urban development. Therefore, it has been argued that a System approach should be followed while implementing Metro rail transport infrastructure.

System Approach: In this, a city is represented by Land Use Zones, which are superimposed with a matching transport network. While treating the Urban area as a system and the followed interaction among the traffic, transport, and land use help predict future requirements and then evaluate the other alternative modes for the most optimum mobility plan for the city. Metro Rails should be planned and executed, keeping in mind their longer future perspective. They are a high-capacity transport system, suitable for the growing cities having a future increase in population over several years.

Alternative Analysis: Urban transports, including metro rail, deliver public goods. Therefore, its appraisal must entail a social and economic cost-benefit analysis. Metro rail enhances mobility, which catalyzes economic development and improves a city’s livability. That’s why it is pretty essential to assess the economic and social viability of the proposed project. The internal economic rate of return for the approval of any metro rail project should be either 14% or above. Moreover, the State Governments must operationalize UMTA in the city within a year for all those metro rail projects taken with the help of Central Assistance. The State Governments are responsible for supporting the metro rail projects to ensure financial sustainability.

Kanpur Metro Station
Moreover, Metro rails have become a status symbol for any state to prove its development. With the coming of the Metro, women can reach jobs situated at a greater distance as the Metro provides a safer and quicker mode of travel between the home and workplace. This mode of transport provides safety to women and other vulnerable sections of society, including the physically disabled and elders. There is also a coach reserved for the female commuters and seats for the PWD. The metros also motivate the passengers to use public transport more and more by creating residential, leisure, and commercial spaces in the metro stations. As a result, the commutation becomes much more accessible, and the project’s financial viability also improves.

Metros are essential in India to provide the last mile connectivity, which the feeder buses have failed to provide. The most considerable lacunae of the metro companies are that they are bothered mainly with the transportation of the passenger from one platform to another, but how they reach that platform has never been their concern. This problem got resolved by the Transit-Oriented Development (TOD), which introduced the idea of a Public-Private partnership. It also looked to develop the Metro in a very comprehensive manner and not in isolation. Still, some cities witness extreme ridership in buses because they don’t have any alternative public transportation system. Forex, the ridership in Indore Bus Rapid Transit System is around 6000 passengers per km.

Metro rails are needed because of the following reasons:
The most efficient transportation system is space occupancy, energy consumption, and numbers transported.
They are very high-capacity carriers, transporting many people during peak hours.
Unlike buses and other modes of public transportation, metro rails are eco-friendly, cause much less sound pollution, and have no air pollution.
They possess greater traffic capacity. It carries as much traffic as seven lanes of bus traffic and 24 lanes of car traffic.
It reduces the journey time from 50% to 75%.
The usage of metros should be promoted more and more as it helps in reducing the levels of greenhouse gases.
The number of road accidents has also gone down drastically as the people have chosen the Metro. Speeding usually happens when people are late for their work.
Metro provides air-conditioned travelling with the best comfort at relatively cheap rates.
Social Impact of the Metro Rail: All members of the society, irrespective of their caste, religion, financial status, can travel, which enhances the social integrity of the country. The necessity of a driving license is also eliminated to a great extent. It has come as a blessing in disguise for those who cannot drive or ride.

The economic impact of the Metro Rail: Mass Transit Development improves the usefulness and efficiency of the Public Transit system, which results in increased business for commercial developments and helps improve the country’s economy. Public Transit systems offer considerable savings in materials, labour, energy over other private transit systems. In addition, they have very efficient engines to carry large capacities, which helps in saving fuels.

Environmental impacts: Mass transit is more eco-friendly than other public transports. Private vehicles emit twice as much carbon monoxide and other greenhouse gases as Public Transport. With the coming of public transport, the number of cars on the road reduced, reducing the level of pollution in the city.

Future Challenges for Metro Rail in India
In India, metro rail defines the city’s development and growth, but still, there are specific challenges that the city and its residents need to overcome to ensure a holistic benefit. First, the skyline and the city’s urban form get distorted due to the widespread network of concrete viaducts. This can be addressed by taking the Metro to the underground. Secondly, the issue of land acquisition troubles the low and middle groups and disrupts their livelihoods. Finally, the construction phase disturbs the peace and tranquillity of the residents. Again, taking metros to the underground is the solution to the problem as it will minimize the need for land acquisition and reduce the people’s inconvenience during construction.

Moreover, the financial viability of any metro rail project depends on the accuracy of the traffic demand forecasts and the ridership estimation. These projects also guide the socio-economic and environmental appraisal against the project’s cost estimation. Unfortunately, most of these forecasts often led to inaccurate or misleading pictures about the project.

Thirty-four metro rail projects are under implementation across the country, with a cumulative length of nearly 1230 km. In addition, the ministry has received proposals for another 16 projects with a cumulative length of 638km comprising Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, etc. Expansion and development are the need of the hour, which no State Government can afford to neglect. Some examples of the recently completed metro projects are as follows:

Important figures
Operational Routes: 707.61 km
Under Construction Routes: 505.25 km
Approved Routes: 471.54 km
Proposed Routes: 1045 km
Interesting Facts about Metro Rail Project:-
Oldest (First) Metro Rail System: Kolkata Metro
Newest Metro Rail System: Nagpur Metro
Largest Metro System: Delhi Metro (347 km)
Smallest Metro System: Ahmedabad Metro (6 km)
Busiest (Highest Ridership) Metro System: Delhi Metro
As the Metro enhances the values of the property and boosts up the economic activities, it consequently enhances the government’s revenue at various levels. According to the Tax Increment Financing Model, this growth in the revenue should be utilized in the funding of the metro projects. With the help of this model, the collected funds can be used effectively for infrastructure projects without necessarily raising the tax rates. This would strengthen the local economy by providing additional revenues by way of development charges.

Smallest Metro System: Ahmedabad Metro (6 km)

Busiest (Highest Ridership) Metro System: Delhi Metro

Lucknow Metro is the most expensive metro rail project in Uttar Pradesh. Its first phase got operational in the year 2017.
Kochi Metro: It also got completed recently. Kochi is the fastest developing city in Kerala and has an international airport, harbour, and now the Metro.
Hyderabad Metro: It got operationalized in July 2017. Trail runs have started on the Miyapur to SR Nagar stretch.
Some proposed and upcoming metro projects are Pune, Patna, Bhopal, Indore, Meerut, Guwahati, Chandigarh, Vijayawada, etc.
 
As the Metro enhances the values of the property and boosts up the economic activities, it consequently enhances the government’s revenue at various levels. According to the Tax Increment Financing Model, this growth in the revenue should be utilized in the funding of the metro projects. With the help of this model, the collected funds can be used effectively for infrastructure projects without necessarily raising the tax rates. This would strengthen the local economy by providing additional revenues by way of development charges.

Railways decides seven new Bullet Train Corridors

Source: Metrorailtoday, 22 December 2021

New Delhi, India (Metro Rail Today): The country’s first Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed bullet train project is yet to be completed, but the Ministry of Railways has decided to proceed ahead with seven new rail corridor projects, including one between New Delhi and Ayodhya, besides Prime Minister Modi’s high-profile constituency Varanasi.

“The way China has linked almost all its major cities with high-speed bullet trains, the Indian Railways has also decided to provide it to the country’s mega cities in the near future,” a senior railway official told this correspondent on condition of anonymity.

After the ongoing Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, Mumbaikers will also have such a connectivity with the industrial city Nagpur. For this, a Detailed Project Report (DPR) covering the 766-km route is already under preparation by experts of the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL).

Railway sources said preliminary surveys on the feasibility of this bullet train corridor are complete. The Railway Ministry has also decided to connect Varanasi with New Delhi through high-speed bullet train as a priority project. Railway sources said that after the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train corridor, the New Delhi-Varanasi corridor would be given the top priority.

Sushma Gaur, additional general manager public relations, National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL), acknowledged that the Ministry of Railways has entrusted the NHSRCL with the tasks of preparing DPRs of seven new high-speed rail corridors projects. The 942-km long Delhi-Varanasi (including Ayodhya) is one of the seven new proposed high speed rail corridors on which the DPR is likely to be prepared soon.

She said the ministry has asked the NHSRCL to prepare DPRs for the proposed Mumbai-Nagpur (740 km), Delhi-Ahmedabad (886 km), Delhi-Amritsar (459 km), Mumbai-Hyderabad (711 km), Chennai-Mysore (435 km) and Varanasi-Howrah (760 km) high-speed rail corridors.

Proposed new corridors are

Delhi-Varanasi (including Ayodhya)
Mumbai-Nagpur (740 km) *
Delhi-Ahmedabad (886km) *
Delhi-Amritsar (459km) *
Mumbai-Hyderabad (711km) *
Chennai-Mysore (435km) *
Varanasi-Howrah (760km) *
* Distance is tentative

Road infrastructure across India will be like the US in coming years, says Union Minister Gadkari

Source: Economic Times, 25 November 2021

Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said that the roads, bridges and tunnels in J&K would be of western Europe standards in the coming three years.

The minister laid the foundation stone of 25 National highway projects in J&K, of the total length of 259 kms with an investment of Rs 11721 crore, during a function in Doda area of Jammu.

“In the coming three years roads, tunnels and bridges of J&K would be of western european standards. It will bring development, prosperity, tourism, investment and industry to this place. Farmers could export their produce in time and efficiently. This region will become self reliant,” Gadkari promised.

He stated that all the projects and proposals put forth by the Lieutenant Governor of J&K Manoj Sinha have been approved, which included the inclusion of seven road projects in Jammu in National Highway and Bharat Mala.

Gadkari also announced plans to build an inter model station in Katra of Jammu, where Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine is located, which will include a bus station, railway station and a helipad at one place. This station would be connected with the 650km Delhi-Katra expressway.

“Mata Vaishno Devi shrine is central to our faith. Delhi-Katra distance will be covered in six hours. And Jammu to Srinagar will be covered in four hours within the next two years,” said Gadkari adding, “We used to raise this slogan from our childhood: Where Shyama Prasad Mukherjee sacrificed that Kashmir is ours.”

The union minister also said that he follows the principle of former US president John F Kennedy, who has said that “American roads are not good because America is rich but America is rich because American roads are good.”

“The road infrastructure in India will be equal to America in the coming times. We will reach Delhi to Srinagar in eight hours, Delhi to Mumbai in 12 hours, and Delhi to places like Chandigarh, Haridwar, Dehradun and Jaipur in two hours. This is my promise,” said Gadkari.

He urged the J&K LG, to encourage sustainable energy options and use air conditioned electric busses not only in the cities of Jammu and Srinagar but for long distance inter-district and inter division travel as well, which will also reduce the travel cost significantly for the commuters. “From next month, I will be using a green hydrogen car in Delhi,” he said.

India needs to double capex in medium term to fund infra: DEA Secy

Source: Business Standards, 18 November 2021

India needs to double the capital expenditure in the medium term from about 5-6 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) currently to fund infrastructure, DEA Secretary Ajay Seth said on Wednesday.

Efforts, he added, have to be made to channelise all avenues of savings for garnering resources for stepping up investment in the infrastructure sector.

“By and large, the capex, both infrastructure and industrial capex is about 5-6 per cent of the GDP size. We have to take it at least to double in the medium term, which requires all avenues to channelise savings and savings will come from based on the needs of each class of investors,” Seth said at the CII Global Economic Policy Summit 2021.

He further said that the Indian capital market has to mature to enable investors to attract long term funds.

“When it comes to long term financing, that is something our capital markets are yet to mature where we can attract long term investors from say the household sector to put that long term money. Because for infrastructure long term money is required,” he said.

Seth further highlighted that India’s banking sector is now on a much stronger footing post major reforms such as the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code and the setting up of a bad bank’, among others. However, long term financing is an area where India’s capital markets are yet to mature, he noted.

PM Modi to inaugurate Purvanchal Expressway

Source: Economic Times, 16 November 2021

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the 341 kilometre-long Purvanchal Expressway at Karwal Kheri in Sultanpur district on Tuesday .

The inauguration will be held at around 1:30 PM. The expressway starts from Chaudsarai, Lucknow located on Lucknow-Sultanpur road (NH-731) and ends at village Hydaria located on National Highway number 31, 18 kilometres east of the Uttar Pradesh-Bihar border.

The 6-lane wide expressway can be expanded to 8-lane in future and is constructed at an estimated cost of about Rs 22,500 crore. It is set to give a boost to the economic development of the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh especially the districts of Lucknow, Barabanki, Amethi, Ayodhya, Sultanpur, Ambedkar Nagar, Azamgarh, Mau and Ghazipur.

The project has sparked a war of words between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Samajwadi Party (SP), with both parties taking credit for the construction of the project.

“Tomorrow is a special day for Uttar Pradesh’s growth trajectory. At 1:30 PM, the Purvanchal Expressway will be inaugurated. This project brings with it multiple benefits for UP’s economic and social progress,” PM Modi tweeted. The Prime Minister will also see an airshow by the Indian Air Force on the 3.2 km long airstrip constructed on the Expressway in Sultanpur district following the inauguration.

India’s road network can pave the path to rapid economic recovery in coming years

Source: Financial Express, 23 October 2021

Massive road infrastructure development in the country would yield a multiplier effect on development.

The pulsating economy of a country depends on the roads that serve as its arteries. Therefore, road transport has emerged as a dominant segment with a share of 4.8 per cent in India’s GDP. India witnessed a historic moment on September 9, 2021, when an Emergency Landing Strip (ELF) was dedicated to the nation at Gandhav-Bhakasar section on National Highway-925 at Barmer, Rajasthan, for Indian Air Force. This was the first time that a National Highway was used as an ELF for aircraft. The area, located near the international border, highlights the importance of road construction in strengthening the country’s security networks and infrastructure. In recognition of this, 12 more ELFs are being constructed across the country.

Notably, scripting the country’s growth story, India has the second-largest road network globally, spanning a total of 5.89 million km. The road network moves 64.5% of all goods in the country. Additionally, 90% of India’s total passenger traffic employs a road network to commute.

The government has allocated Rs. 111 lakh crores under the National Infrastructure Pipeline for FY 2019-25. Earlier in 2015, India embarked upon Bharatmala Pariyojana to connect the entire country through a network of highways, a steady growth observed since. The Ministry has approved the implementation of 34,800 km of 23 new national highways till 2025, with an outlay of Rs. 5,35,000 crores. Despite pandemic lockdown, India constructed 13,298 km of highways in FY21, with a record of 37 km per day in March 2021. The Golden Quadrilateral project initiated under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana in late 2000 connected the hinterland with various critical financial centres and cities, thereby boosting economic growth.

Massive road infrastructure development in the country would yield a multiplier effect on development. The research has shown the immediate positive effects that transit networks in India have had on employment, especially in rural India and the country’s manufacturing growth. Over the long term, even regions farther away from major roads develop in line with the development witnessed by areas along national highways. Such a spillover of growth is essential to reduce the inequities in regional development in a country like India.

The road construction industry in India is undergoing a paradigm shift. Robust demand, higher investments, support in liquidity and significant policy support are changing the face of the sector. Significantly, the private sector has emerged as a critical player in developing road infrastructure in India. In FY21, there were 125 PPP projects worth US$ 23.25 billion in India. With the government permitting 100% FDI in the road sector, several foreign companies have formed partnerships with Indian players to capitalise on the sector’s growth.

Tunnelling and underground construction is an extended arm of road, highways project development. The country has a plan to construct 6000 km of tunnels, wherein Pir Panjal, Chenani-Nashri & Kazigund – Banihal Road tunnel and Rohtang tunnels have been completed. The 6.50 km Z-Morh tunnel will provide all-weather access to Sonamarg, which earlier remained unconnected four winter months of the year. The country’s longest 14.15 km Zojila tunnel has also been initiated. Strategically, this will provide all-weather connectivity on the Srinagar-Leh section of NH1. Other new tunnels bid out recently – Sudhmahadev and Bhadawara which will boost tourism in uncharted locations and promote alternative connectivity of J&K with Himachal Pradesh.

India is leveraging ingenious inventions to execute the most complex road projects in a timely and eco-friendly manner, with the additional advantage of lower project lifecycle costs. However, tunneling is subjected to geological risks. The risk matrix needs to address unforeseen circumstances. Of late tunnel, contract conditions were primarily adopted from highway contracts that could not address the specific requirements of the tunnel works in high altitude geological strata. After a detailed assessment of the tunnel projects, in terms of delay and cost overrun, ASSOCHAM advised MoRTH to include Geotechnical Baseline Report as part of the contract. The government accepted the advice, ensuring equitable distribution of the risk between the parties. This inclusion also allowed the risk of unprecedented geological conditions to be taken care of upfront within the contract. Zojila tunnel, which had previously four failed tenders, was bid out following this model and awarded successfully at INR 6,000 crores instead of the initial proposal of INR 11,000 crores. The union minister for Road, Transport and Highways acknowledged the Chamber’s contribution and recognised the nation’s saving worth INR 5000 crores.

Improved materials for construction, usage of automation and machine-control technologies is rapidly growing. These include project monitoring information systems, intelligent transport management systems, advanced traffic management systems, real-time vehicle tracking and incident management. Establishing a centralised repository of case studies and a technical cell with a panel of experts will help expedite project development. India needs to pronounce national policy, mandating technology data to be made available on nationwide servers, enabling stakeholders to create their ecosystem.

Road infrastructure is the most important of all public assets, as they encourage economic activity between the large cities and the towns they happen to connect along the way. Such connectivity enables economic activity to spread, allowing under-developed regions to catch up and drive balanced and inclusive growth. Road construction also provides a fillip to other sectors of the economy, including steel, cement, auto, real estate. A robust road network will continue to be an essential pillar in India’s rapid economic recovery in the coming years.

PM Narendra Modi to inaugurate Kushinagar International Airport, launch development projects

Source: Economic Times, 19 October 2021

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Kushinagar International Airport, which is an endeavour to connect Buddhist pilgrimage sites around the world, on Wednesday and launch various development projects there during his visit to poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.

The PMO said he will also participate in an event marking Abhidhamma Day at the Mahaparinirvana Temple in Kushinagar before attending a public function to inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of various development projects.

The inauguration of the Kushinagar International Airport will be marked by the landing of the inaugural flight at the airport from Colombo, Sri Lanka, carrying a Sri Lankan delegation of over 100 Buddhist monks and dignitaries including the 12-member holy relic entourage bringing the holy Buddha relics for exposition.

The delegation also comprises of anunayakas (deputy heads) of all four nikatas (orders) of Buddhism in Sri Lanka; Asgiriya, Amarapura, Ramanya, Malwatta as well as five ministers of the Lankan government led by cabinet minister Namal Rajapakshe, the PMO said.


The airport has been built at an estimated cost of Rs 260 crore and will facilitate domestic and international pilgrims to visit the ‘mahaparinirvana’ site of Lord Buddha and is an endeavour to connect the Buddhist pilgrimage holy sites around the world, it added.

The airport will serve nearby districts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and is an important step in boosting investment and employment opportunities in the region.

Modi will visit the Mahaparinirvana Temple and pay his respects to the reclining statue of Lord Buddha and also plant a Bodhi tree sapling.

He will participate in an event, organised to mark ‘abhidhamma’ day which symbolises the end of three-month rainy retreat – ‘varshavaas’ or ‘vassa’ – for the Buddhist monks during which they stay at one place in vihara and monastery and pray.

The event will also be attended by eminent monks from Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, South Korea, Nepal, Bhutan and Cambodia, as well as ambassadors of various countries.

The PMO said Modi will walk through the exhibition of paintings of Ajanta frescos, Buddhist sutra calligraphy and Buddhist artefacts excavated from Vadnagar and other sites in Gujarat.

At a public event, the Prime Minister will lay the foundation stone of Rajkiya Medical College, Kushinagar which will be built at a cost of over Rs 280 crore.

The college will have a 500-bed hospital and provide admissions to 100 students in MBBS course in the academic session 2022-2023.

He will also inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of 12 development projects worth over Rs 180 crore, it added.