Asia Pacific Rail 2017 Event Highlights: Interview with Rahul Goswami

Jaipur Metro is India’s 6th metro rail metro rail system and it is the first metro in India to run on double-storey elevated road and metro track. The metro is built in 2 phases. With the completion of Phase 1A in June 2015, the Jaipur Metro network comprises of one line, serving 9 metro stations and operating on a total route length of 9.63 km.

After his presentation at Asia Pacific Rail, we caught up with Mr. Rahul Goswami, Deputy General Manager, Town Planning, Jaipur Metro to find out more about the key development plans in the pipeline.

1. Can you tell us more about your role at Jaipur Metro?

I’m an architect and urban planner by training so my role relates to station design, new strategic planning for alignment, how conservation could be done because we are passing through very critical heritage zones. We need to ensure that heritage conservation is carried out while constructing the metro.

2. How do you see the industry evolving in the next 5-10 years?

There’s a plethora of opportunities as far as the metro industry is concerned in India. All metros are within the central government. Although we have many metros already running, recently as per order of the Ministry of Urban Development, many new projects have been sanctioned for various cities across India so there will be a lot of opportunities. What’s happening right now is that existing modes of transport like buses are not green enough. Metro has the capacity to transport large numbers of people, and it’s the greenest and most affordable form of transport. Metro is the future of transport in India as it is becoming part of a lifestyle for people.

3. What are the technologies adopted in Jaipur Metro?

We have in place a driverless metro. As far as technology advancement is concerned, we are trying to bring in more LTE 4G technology so that we can monitor the systems. We would like to make things more automatic because we know that metro is a highly capital intensive project, so that we need to make use of all possible technology which could reduce human intervention and bring greater efficiency. Our braking systems are regenerative braking systems, that can generate energy within themselves. We are also using solar energy systems more so that we can reduce our consumption from the regular electric grid and be self-reliant.

4. What is the current development status of Jaipur Metro?

We are in the process of extending our existing phase, which is currently 10km long. We are extending it by another 2.5km, which is a very critical zone as far as heritage is concerned. We have many UNESCO world heritage sites. As far as future extension is concerned, we are planning for Phase 2 right now, which is a 25km stretch. We are looking for public private partnerships for that, because it’s a capital intensive project, hence we are looking for partners who can share the risk with us. In addition to that, we are looking for more revenue generation through non fare-box revenues, equities and property development. We have a chunk of land which we will be developing using public-private mode so that we can generate revenue from that.

5. What are some of the key challenges in your role?

As far as my role is concerned, it is to ensure that civil engineering does not affect heritage conservation. It’s my role to make sure that all technology, all planning is done in such a manner that our heritage doesn’t get impacted. For example, when we are constructing underground metro, we make sure all the heritage structures are above the alignment and are instrumented well. We use many technologies like crack meters so that we can monitor everything that was done. Even prior to that, when we are constructing underground stations, we discovered old water tanks which were 150 years old which were previously used as water supply systems which have since been filled in. We lowered the ground level to some meters so that we can accommodate that newly discovered portion. That was being lost and now it’s our generation who can see and take care of it.

5. How did you find the event?

Absolutely beautiful and good-grade. You can meet people from the rail fraternity and learn from them. There are lots of seminars going on which specifically talk about aspects which are real challenges for new metros like us. We are a pretty young organization so we have a lot to learn about that. I believe that this kind of seminars must take place because we get to learn, we get to implement that, we can emulate them into our systems. We can learn from the mistakes.

Want to find out the latest updates in the Asia-Pacific rail industry? Join us at Asia Pacific Rail 2018 to meet the rail leaders.

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