With an increase in population in various developing cities in India, the National Metro Rail policy of 2017 has advised to go for MRTS (mass rapid transit systems) in cities with a population of over 20 lakhs. With more and more people coming out from small towns in search of jobs, there is a need for more and better public transport. Using private vehicles for long distances leads to congestion and a rise in pollution. This has made India invest in MRTS and other public transport. In this article, the focus is on the Pune Metro Transit system.
Table of Contents
India and Its Metro Projects
- Oldest Metro Rail System: Kolkata Metro
- Newest Metro Rail System: Nagpur and Pune Metro
- Largest and Busiest Metro System: Delhi Metro (347 km)
- Smallest Metro System: Ahmedabad Metro (6 km)
- Lucknow Metro is the most expensive metro rail project in Uttar Pradesh and started in 2017
- Kochi Metro: It also got completed recently.
- Hyderabad Metro: It got operationalized in July 2017.
- Some proposed and upcoming metro projects are Patna, Bhopal, Indore, Meerut, Guwahati, Chandigarh, Vijayawada, etc.
About Pune MRTS
Over the past few years, Pune has evolved in terms of education, IT parks, research, and development, all this considering sustainability in mind. With expansion and migration there comes a need for a properly planned and executed metro rail system for ease of transportation.
Pune Metro along with Nagpur metro is the greenest and most environmentally friendly metro in India.
Pune metro is divided into 3 phases:
The first phase(North-South Corridor) or first-line covers 17.4 km. This line is 6km underground and 11.4 km elevated, in which it covers 8 underground stations and 9 stations on elevated ground that’s 14 stations. This line is implemented by Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MahaMetro), the same as Nagpur Metro.
Purple color is chosen to denote this line, which symbolizes the valor, power, and dedication of the Punekars along with the industrial areas of Pimpri- Chinchwad.
Second Phase (West-East Corridor) or line two covers 15.7 km and 16 elevated stations in total. The colour blue, or Aqua, denotes this line, which stands for truth and confidence. Also, this route passes through 2 rivers-Mula and Mutha, therefore the name Aqua line. This line is also implemented by Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MahaMetro).
Started in 2018 by the prime minister, it will cover 23 elevated stations and a distance of 23.3 km. This line is by the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) and the joint venture between Tata Realty and Siemen.
In total 54.58 km length is covered with 53 stations, from which Line 1 and Line started in 2022, but line 3 is expected to begin in 2023.
Unique Points About Pune Metro
- The Pune metro is 15th of India and 3rd in Maharashtra.
- Pune Metro is India’s first metro with an aluminum body metro train.
The advantage of using an aluminum body is that it is anti-corrosion which will increase the life of the coaches to nearly 40 years.
Also, the weight of the coach decreases, which helps to increase the speed of the metro by making it light.
Another advantage is lower haulage cost, better fuel efficiency, and low carbon emission compared to steel counterparts.
These can be manufactured in less time, which escalates production.
These aluminum coaches are made in Kolkata by Titagarh Wagons(Firema) Limited and are 2 tonnes lighter than average coaches.
- Also, 2 Independent metro lines were started on the same day, which took 5 years to complete.
During the construction process, minimum harm is done to the eco-sensitive areas of Pune
- Pune Metro has transplanted 2,267 trees falling in alignment by innovative root ball technology- this is a process used for repotting plants.
Other than this, for afforestation, 6300 trees are to be planted which is equal to a reduction of 130 tonnes of CO2 per year.
- Grid-connected solar energy
On the rooftops of elevated stations, boundary walls, and depot solar panels are installed, which will generate electrical energy. This energy will be utilized in stations and traction power for the running of trains. 65% of the electrical energy demands will be met by solar panels.
- Innovative and sustainable construction practices
- The C&D waste (construction and demolition waste) is recycled to the maximum.
- Using fly ash. Fly ash is a supplementary cementitious material, which is a byproduct of coal-fired power stations. According to IGBC, the use of fly ash materials gains the project maximum points.
- Using curing compound- a substance that is mixed in concrete to reduce the loss of water or heat for proper curing so that the concrete gains strength.
- The proper drainage system, for effective recycling of water.
- Pune Metro project, including the stations, is planned to keep in consideration the IGBC platinum rating system.
- As for water efficiency, rainwater harvesting, reuse of treated water for horticulture, and flushing with proper monitoring are planned.
- Various other factors like using eco-friendly refrigerants, energy-efficient pumps, proper orientation of stations for natural daylight and ventilation, and highest rating (BEE) energy-saving appliances are executed to make this project more suitable for sustainability.
- Consideration of reducing air pollution is also done.
- Using the metro will decrease vehicular traffic by approximately 60000, which will help to reduce the consumption of fuel.
- New Austrian Tunneling Method (NATM) was incorporated as the cut and cover method was not possible because of congestion.
The philosophy for this method is to use the strength of the surrounding soil to the greatest extent possible to strengthen the tunnel structure. You can read more about this here.
As of now, being a few months since the inauguration of Pune Metro, it feels like a boon to Punekars, but each mass level of construction comes with both pros and cons. During the land acquisition or in the process of construction, there might be some issues faced by the residents. Here, at present, the positives are more than the negatives impacts.
“Clean public transport is top priority for Modi Govt. The number of cities with metro rail increased to 18 from 5 in the last 5 years. The aim is to increase it to 25 cities by 2025, “said on Nov 2, 2021, at UN Climate Change Conference (COP26)”, says PM Narendra Modi.
India is growing at a rapid pace, metro or other public transport are not a luxury anymore but need of the hour. But, with this rapid growth in construction and constant development, thinking and execution through sustainability, considering the harmful effects of climate change, is not an option anymore.