(Written by Avivek Deshpande)
With many unique features, the Nagpur Metro is likely to start its first commercial run on a 14-km stretch between Khapri and Sitabuldi in March next year. MahaMetro Managing Director Brijesh Dixit said here on Wednesday that with the first certificate of safety having being issued, “at-grade (ground level)”, for a 5-km section from Khapri to South airport, “way has been paved for the first commercial ride in March 2019”.
The certificate was issued by the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS). Dixit said: “We are planning to start a pre-launch free ride for the under-privileged, like those who are differently-abled, senior citizens and the homeless, on demand at the at-grade section.” Three stations on the stretch have already been completed. “The stations, Khapri, New Airport and Airport South, have already received platinum rating from the Indian Green Building Council,” Dixit said.
The Nagpur Metro, covering a total of around 40 km between the two corridors, North-South and East-West, would have 41 stations. Many of them are being developed based on themes, like tiger, forest, tribal and aqua, with the buildings’ facades depicting them. The Nagpur Metro will have many unique features, like two stretches of double-decker sections – 3.5 km Airport to Ajni, and 5.3 km LIC Square to Automotive Square.
These would have the NH7 below and the metro track running above it. In the latter section, four decks would run, one above each other, at one point on Kamptee Road, where a railway bridge passes above the existing highway stretch. The metro proposes to draw 65 per cent of its power from a solar plant to be specially erected solely for the purpose. Two towers, at least 20 storeys each, are slated to come up in Sitabuldi area with metro offering it to private developers on BOT (build operate transfer)basis.
“Where the metro crosses the existing railway line, we are coming up with a unique architectural structure, called balanced cantilever bridge, which will be kind of a suspended bridge,” Dixit said. The Nagpur Metro hopes to become viable, mainly through non-fare box revenue generated through real estate development, as well as through sharing of revenue, which the state government would get on account of the double FSI granted to the entire corridor of 500m on either side of the metro. “We hope to generate 50 per cent of our revenue through non-fare box sources, which would be the highest anywhere,” Dixit said. The Rs 8,640 crore project has a December 19 deadline to complete both the corridors, subject to settlement of remaining land acquisition disputes and pending final designs of certain
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