GOVERNMENT OF INDIA IS AIMING FOR STANDARDISATION AND INDIGENISATION IN METRO RAIL SYSTEMS

Urban rail network is expanding in Indian cities, as these are becoming key lifeline for the cities. Currently, 490 kms of metro lines are operational in 10 different cities in the country. More than 600 kms of metro rail projects are under construction in various cities. Further, It is expected that more than 350 kms of new construction will be started in the next few years as more and more cities are planning for expansion or new constructions of metro rail.

Most of the cities, except Hyderabad and Gurgaon, are funded by Government of India, along with multilateral and bilateral loans. The government is increasing fund allocations for the metro projects.

Fund Allocation to Metro Projects by Federal Govt. (Figures in INR billion)

 

The average budget outlay of Govt. of India is likely to increase to about INR 250 billion annually, apart from the investments envisaged by the state governments, private partners and ULBs.

Government of India has sanctioned at least INR 306.53 billion to Metro projects across the country between the periods of 2012-16. Further, it has allocated INR 421.14 billion between the periods of 2016-2018.

Various other steps have been taken for the systematic and sustainable growth of metro rail projects in the country. Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has framed a new Metro Rail Policy to promote ‘Make in India’ initiative and ‘Private Participation’ in metro rail projects.

MoHUA is now pushing for the Standardisation and Indigenization of future metro rail projects in India. The ministry has informally standardised the rolling stock for all future Metro projects, which include the coach width and the configuration of trains with a set of three, six or nine coaches in every train. The uniform standards published also specify the actual speed and design speed of trains besides the signalling system. The ministry has also sent advisory to Metro Rail firms to procure from domestic players in its bid to push Make in India.

Some of key developments are:

i) The standards for rolling stock (also fixes the standards of civil structures) and signaling systems for the metro rail in India have been notified in 2017 after concurrence from Railway Board

ii) The standards for electrical systems have been concurred by the Railway Board

iii) The detailed specifications for the Automatic Fare Collection System and the complete eco-system based on the Rupay standard has been prepared by NPCI (National Payment Corporation of India) and C-DAC in collaboration with DMRC

iv) The specifications of the Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) signaling system is also being formulated jointly by BEL (Bharat Electronics Limited), C-DAC, DMRC, and STQC (Standardisation Testing and Quality Certification)

There is need for the advancement of these standards. Further, there are numerous other areas for which indigenous standards need to be formulated, including layout of metro station, platforms, signage& displays, size of tunnels, fire protection systems, disaster management systems, environment friendly and waste management systems, standards for solar panels at stations etc.

For this purpose, MoHUA has constituted a committee for Standardization and Indigenization in Metro Rail, which is likely to submit its report in three months. The committee will have nine members, including chairperson.

Name

Designation, Company

Functional Area

E Sreedharan

Former MD, DMRC

Chairman

HS Anand

Former Director, Rolling Stock, DMRC

Rolling Stock

Sameer Lohani

Executive Director (Carriage), RDSO, Indian Railways

Rolling Stock

D K Sinha

Director, Operations, Kochi Metro Rail

Signalling

Jitendra Tyagi

MD, Dehradun Metro, Uttarakhand

Civil Engineering

Vipul Kumar

Executive Director, Track Modernisation, Railway Board

Track & Civil Structure

Prashanth Rao

Director Systems, Ahmedabad Metro

Automatic Fare Collection System

Anoop Gupta

Director, Electrical, DMRC

Traction, Power Supply, Ventilation

Mukund K. Sinha

OSD (UT) and Ex­Officio Joint Secretary, MoHUA

Member Secretary

The standardisation of products and systems will help to reduce cost and increase their production in India. The indigenous standards will ensure that metro rail sub systems for all new metro projects conform to the prescribed standards thus incentivizing manufacturers to plan for long term investments in the country and set up manufacturing units. This will also bring down the cost of the metro rail constructions and operation.