|Metro stalwarts in the country ..|
After retiring from Govt of India at the very respectable age of 79, Sridharan was approached by the Chief Minister of Kerala Oommen Chandy to lead the Kochi Metro. Sreedharan has been associated with the Kochi Metro authorities and Govt of Kerala representatives besides the political representatives for the past four years. Sridharan and Elias George MD of Kochi Metro have done wonders to get the cheapest, most modern and fastest Metro execution in India.
Of the initially planned 25.65 km stretch from Aluva in the North of Kochi city to Petta in the South as part of the first phase, 10 kms stretching from Aluva to Palarivattom will start running in the next three weeks. The trial runs have been successfully completed. Anytime the commercial running for the public can start after the Prime Minister Narendra Modi finds time to come to Kochi for the inauguration in the next two weeks. Meanwhile all other work of sprucing up the stations etc is going on in full swing.
Technical Features :
Construction Methodology: Elevated viaduct carried over pre-stressed concrete ‘U/I’ shaped girders with pile / open foundationsThe estimated completion cost of the Metro First Phase (also called Komet or K-3C) from Aluva to Pettah covering 22 stations would cost about INR 5200 crores (app $900 million). Work is also started to extend the northern station from Aluva to the Kochi International airport in Nedumbassery to effect a convenient metro link from the airport right upto Pettah.
Rolling Stock: 2.9 m wide modern rolling stock with stainless steel body, standard gauge axle load of 15 tonnes
Voltage: 750 V DC
Power Supply Source: 110Kv AC
Power Collection: Third Rail Bottom Collection
System: Light Metro System
Type of Signalling: Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) with ATO & ATP
Telecommunication: Integrated system with Fibre Optic cables, SCADA, Train radio, PA system etc (data from Railway technology.com)
|Route map of Kochi metro|
The Delhi Metro now runs for 213 kms covering 160 stations from the intial 7 kms stretch for which work started on 24 December 2002, serves almost 26.6 lakh passengers daily and has since inception carried almost 1.24 billion passengers.
The Kochi metro on completion of the first phase will run for 25.6 kms. In future, we can imagine the development this Mass Rapid Transit System can bring to Kochi and help in its expansion to global standards, even surpassing other Indian and global cities. Having the reputation for the cheapest and most advanced metro project stations in the country, we hope the Kochi Metro will climb greater heights and repute over the years.
|Sridharan with former CM of Kerala Oommen Chandy at Aluva, 2015 pic.|
There is a great lesson in this to learn for the Government of Karnataka executing Bangalore Namma Metro.
The basic lessons from the Kochi Metro are the following :
1. Get the required funding and a very experienced consultant to oversee the Project
2. Plan for the most modern technology and design for the metro, network with all stakeholders
3. Get a Project Management team strong in engineering expertise and project management skills
4. Effect a smooth and fast implementation on sound Project Management skills
5. Keep all levels politicians away during the project execution stage, to avoid favouritism and allegations of corruption
6. Be straightforward and frank in all dealings with all stake holders
7. Always work with the bigger picture of planned city development, passenger safety, low costs and comfort in mind.
8. Have great communication with all stakehoiders and between employees at all stages right from planing to final handing over and running.
Presently Sridharan is also appointed to the United Nations Organisation, overlooking Mass Rapid Transit Systems in Asia, Africa and Latin America. He has been invited to serve in the United Nations High Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport for a period of three years from 2015. (HLAG-ST). Sridharan accepted this 3 year assignment to serve the United Nations at the ripe age of 82 years. !!
The country now awaits the Central Govt to start procedures to confer its highest National Civilian Honour of "Bharat Ratna" on E Sridharan !!