Exclusive || Corrdior 2 of Lucknow Metro will ease the commuting woes in old Lucknow: Sushil Kumar, Managing Director, UPMRC

The Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. has recently submitted a revised detailed project report of the proposed East-West Corridor of Lucknow Metro Rail Project to the Uttar Pradesh Government for review and approval. The East-West corridor of Lucknow Metro aspires to provide connectivity to a high-density and busiest place of old Lucknow like Aminabad, Chowk etc. The Charbagh station will act as a junction for both the corridors of Lucknow i.e., North-South Corridor and East-West Corridor. The Lucknow Metro route is being regarded as one of the prominent metro projects in the country and with couple of unique initiatives it has already made a mark in the industry.

In a recent interaction with The Quotes, Sushil Kumar, Managing Director of Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. spoke at length about the recently submitted Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the proposed East-West corridor, his crucial strategies to enhance the facilities and commuting experience of riders, significance of other metro projects in the state and how his team is working extensively towards reducing carbon footprints. Excerpts of the conversation.

The Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. has recently submitted the revised Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the second corridor of the Lucknow Metro Phase-1 to the cabinet of the Government of Uttar Pradesh. Kindly explain to our readers the nitty-gritty (length & breadth) of the Corridor-2?

The East-West corridor-2 of Lucknow Metro rout will be a game-changer. The upcoming route will not only enhance the experience of commuters but will also pave the way for several stakeholders in the business to take inspiration. The updated project report of the proposed East-West Corridor from ‘Charbagh to Vasant Kunj’ part of Lucknow Metro’s first phase has recently been submitted to the Government of Uttar Pradesh by Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (UPMRC).

The Corridor-2, from Charbagh to Vasant Kunj, will have total route length of 11.165 km, of which elevated length will be 4.286 km while underground length will be 6.879 km. The total number of stations in this corridor will be twelve comprising seven underground stations and five elevated. The estimated time of completion of this proposed corridor is five years. The names of 12 Metro stations of East–West corridor are Charbagh (underground), Gautam Budh Nagar (underground), Aminabad (underground), Pandeyganj (underground), City Railway Station (underground), Medical Chauraha (underground), Nawazganj (underground). While the elevated ones are, Thakurganj, Balaganj, Sarfarazganj, Musabagh and Vasant Kunj.

The Corridor-2 will provide connectivity to prominent places of old Lucknow like Aminabad, Chowk, etc. It will also connect other congested areas along its route and provide accessibility to the people of Lucknow. The Charbagh station will act as a junction for both the corridors of Lucknow i.e., North-South Corridor & East-West Corridor.

The depot of this corridor will be constructed at Vasant Kunj. The estimated capital cost without taxes for constructing this 11.165 km long corridor in February 2019 was Rs 3786 crores which has escalated to Rs 4264.89 crores. This change in cost is in sync with the current inflation rate as per government guidelines.

DPR has been also upgraded with 750 DC traction system which is being followed in Kanpur & Agra Metro project mainly due to severe OHE flashing problem occurring as a result of metallic wire in kites being faced in Lucknow Metro project.

The Actual Average Daily Ridership (AADR) for Lucknow Metro was 0.537 and 0.258 lakhs only in 2019-20 and 2020-21, respectively, against the Average Daily Ridership required for breakeven of 0.943 lakhs for all these years. Thus, Lucknow metro is still aspiring to attain sufficient ridership for breakeven. How do you assess this situation and what’s the plan to overcome it? Also, how second corridor will be game changer in enhancing the figures?

The performance of Lucknow Metro has improved significantly well in recent times. The current ridership of Lucknow Metro is above 72,800. The reason behind median ridership of the Lucknow Metro is last mile connectivity and total metro network in operation right now. Post-COVID, the Lucknow Metro has attained the fastest ridership recovery rate and since the inception of Lucknow Metro, it has achieved the highest cumulative ridership of 5 crores.

Lucknow Metro has taken several steps to improve last mile connectivity by collaborating with Rapido, Uber & Wow taxi so that the metro commuters can reach to its destination after exiting from a particular metro station.

The accessibility of other modes of public transport like bus, auto, e-rickshaw has further enhanced the last mile connectivity in Lucknow. The metro network comprising 23 km North-South corridor from CCS Airport to Munshipulia’ has 21 metro stations. Since the route length of this corridor is only 23 km so the ridership is at par with the length of network which will definitely increase with time as network gets expanded. The second corridor will significantly help in boosting the ridership figures by connecting congested areas and prominent places of old Lucknow with Charbagh as junction for both the corridors.

Lok Sabha committee recent recommended Lucknow Metro project as a role model for other metro projects. Kindly explain the salient features of the Lucknow Metro project which makes it unique from other metro projects in the country.

Lucknow Metro project is undoubtedly a unique project and has already set up a numerous benchmark for others to follow. From being the fastest constructed Metro Rail Project (4 years 6 months) in the country, to setting up network of 21 Metro stations comprising 17 Elevated and 4 Underground stations covering a stretch of 22.878 km, we have aimed to pioneer in all our extended projects. We have also achieved the distinction for starting commercial operations for public on the 8.5 km Priority Corridor’ from Transport Nagar to Charbagh on 5th September, 2017 in less than 3 years.

Lucknow Metro commenced the revenue services for the entire ‘North-South’ Corridor (Phase 1A) from CCS Airport to Munshipulia on 8th March, 2019 and establish itself as a leading force to reckon with. The milestone was attained before the targeted deadline. The route is also providing state-of-the-art, modern, world class facilities and infrastructure to the facilities on its route. We are also ensuring the metro operations remains environmentally sustainable, viable and eco-friendly in line with its vision of ‘Green Metro-Clean Metro.’

In 2018, Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation reconstituted itself as an Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation (UPMRC) in order to operate and implement other metro projects in the state. Following are the flagship projects which have been successfully implemented by the UPMRC and setting up unique milestones in the country.  

  •          Kanpur Metro part of UP Metro successfully commenced its operations on the 8 km long ‘Priority Section’ from ’IIT Kanpur to Motijheel’ in just 2 yrs 1.5 months which is the fastest construction bettering the record of Lucknow Metro
  •          The CCS Airport Metro station was registered in the Limca Book of Records for the fastest underground construction in only 19 months 10 days.
  •          The use of third rail technology in the Rolling Stock of Kanpur & Agra Metro
  •          The first metro in the country to use UV-rays for sanitization of metro trains during Covid-19 pandemic
  •          The first metro to launch Super Saver Card for commuters for unlimited travel for 30 days in just Rs 1500 to make the travel even more affordable
UPMRC has shown lot of seriousness towards reducing carbon footprints.  Last years, the UPMRC invited bids to install and commission 2 MW of rooftop solar systems on depots and stations of the Lucknow metro project. As per the updated NDC, India now stands committed to reduce Emissions Intensity of its GDP by 45 percent by 2030. Kindly help us understand about the flagship projects by Lucknow Metro in regards with the green energy. 

UPMRC has undertaken several initiatives which have considerably helped in protection, preservation & conservation of environment.  A large number of people are using Metro for daily commuting to their workplace, home, schools, offices, marketplace, etc. In this way, Lucknow Metro has not only reduced congestion on roads but also brought a sigh of relief to the public. It has significantly brought down carbon footprint in the city. Lucknow Metro is Committed for building a future with responsibility towards society & environment.

The corporation has the potential to harvest around 20 Lakh litres rain water per year. We relocated and transported total 410 trees in order to reduce deforestation, and additionally, total 537 trees were saved by making changes in the design.

We are using regenerative braking in trains and lifts which has resulted into saving 34 per cent traction energy, lifts and escalators have been equipped with Variable Voltage Variable Frequency, Solar roof-top power plant of capacity 1.38 MW has been installed at Metro premises. Apart from green energy, we are determined to work towards waste consumption and have already installed waste composting machine at Transport Nagar Metro Depot. The metro trains are being cleaned at Automatic Train Washing Plant with recycled water, and all the depots have been functioning as ‘Zero Discharge Facility’ as no waste water is discharged.

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