Nagpur: The Nagpur Metro will not just “transform lives” as they claim but will also transform the perception of Nagpur when they view the Nagpur Metro with its new levels of technical and management sophistication not seen anywhere in the country till now.
“It will be India’s first “green metro” with 65% of its power requirement being fulfilled by solar power produced by the solar panels on the rake’s roof tops”, says Brijesh Dixit, M.D. in an exclusive tete e tete with Nagpur Today.
The other firsts are –
- The ‘trailer cars’ ( coaches) will be made of stainless steel which is lighter and maintenance free.
- There is a very advanced CBTC (Communication based Train control) signalling technology that will be employed to run the trains. In simple lingo, it means, unlike in Indian trains, the driver of the locomotive/ engine does not have to see the green or red signal himself to go or stop. The train sees it through its sensors. This means there is a gap of only 3-5 minutes between two trains unlike the 8 – 10 minutes that is the norm for railways. Because of this signaling system, trains will move faster and give quicker service, specially during peak hours. There is no scope for human error as well.
- Though there are two routes, North – South and East – West on which the Nagpur metro will be travelling, it will ultimately have 23 rakes doing the journey daily. This will enable a metro every 5 minutes during peak hours and every 10 to 15 minutes during slack period.
- NMRCL is the only metro Company of India that is simultaneously not just building metro lines but double decker flyovers at two points of heavy congestion in Nagpur. This means that over existing segments of roads there will be two ( double decker) lines of – metro and flyover.. The same agency doing both jobs, involving different Ministries, will facilitate quicker work, less expenditure and saving of time as well. The first flyover will be between Airport to Ajni square and the second at Kadbi chowk.
- There is a 5D Building Information Modelling (BIM) a tool of sophisticated software for better management and control over costs, time, quality and safety of the project.
- Very transparent working with a Bar chart of work deadlines, costs and other goals put up right on their conference room. “Believe me, no corporate entity makes such information public” says Dixit. So impressed was the German KFW Bank with this that they granted in 6 months a loan that would have normally taken 2 years to negotiate and finalize! It is the first time world wide that they are giving loans to an infra project. “Now I keep harassing them for quick disbursement rather than it being the other way round” Dixit says with a chuckle.
Another unique feature Nagpur Metro has in place is the ‘Metro Samvad’
(chat with people) they carry on at every significant stop of the metro. They talk with the local people before they finalize points like the exact location of the station, the entry and exit points and where the ticketing booths should be etc.
Narrating one such experience Brijesh Dixit said he was shocked to learn from the residents of Chinchbhavan on Wardha road that now each family living there spends about 60% of their income for local commute. Children going to schools and colleges, men and women going for work, people going to hospitals or for shopping. This is their expense using buses, three wheelers, four wheelers or two wheelers like modes of transport. The metro, when its station comes up here, will bring down that cost to a meager 10%!
“It will make people’s lives easier, save money, costs and leave them with more disposable income for other necessities while giving them a safer, more comfortable and quicker mode of travel. This is a prime example of how the Nagpur metro will transform lives qualitatively.”
Divulging other details, The Nagpur Metro M.D. said they were yet to take a decision on whether to have separate compartments for women though each compartment will have reserved seating for ladies and senior citizens. Safety of women commuters will be ensured by having well lit stations with no dark zones, emergency call buttons at various points and plenty of CCTV cameras.
We, at NT, always find it a pleasure to interact with this congenial M.D. who brings a very pragmatic and practical approach to solving any problem. For instance, he converted the official house he was offered as residence into the Metro’s first office and continued living in one room at the Ravi Bhawan to save time and effort in looking for an office as per government rules and regulations. Later they also occupied part of the 3rd floor at Udyog Bhawan.
He says he enjoys and takes pride in being a part of Nagpur’s development since he belongs to Central India (M.P.) and has a close affinity for Nagpur. It was here he served as a D.R.M in the Railways for two years before being transferred to Mumbai.
The Nagpur Metro brought him back to Nagpur. ” I feel at home here” he says candidly.
Brijesh Dixit in conversation with Sunita Mudaliar