By Keshav Vivek
Hyderabad has another iconic landmark in the offing. With the exhibition of the Hyderabad Metro Rail model coach being thrown open to the public by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, Hyderabadis have an additional reason to celebrate this festive season. The initiative happens to be Hyderabad’s most high profile public project. A joint venture of L&T Metro and Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited (HMRL), it is the world’s biggest public-private metro rail partnership.
If all goes smoothly, Hyderabad would have 30 metro trains, moving as many as 60,000 passengers at a speed of 30 kph. Each train would have 6 cars, arriving at stations at intervals of 1 km from one another, every 2 minutes, and capable of accommodating as many as 2,000 commuters. Nothing short of a boon for the people of the city who have been victims of countless traffic jams, potholes, washed-out roads and overflowing drains.
L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad Limited, responsible for executing the project, has many firsts to its credit. One of them is the CBTC system that is being deployed for the first time in an Indian metro. It stands for “communication-based train control system”, an intelligent feature that allows the trains to start their trips in an automatic and synchronized manner. The metro operations, on the other hand would be handled by an OCC (operation control centre) located in Uppal.
Much attention has been paid to ensure the safety, convenience, and comfort of passengers. These include air-conditioning, humidity control, mobile and laptop charging points, LCD television sets, Dynamic Route Display, LED lighting, Automated Train Protection, Operation and Supervision systems, Passenger Emergency Alarm and Addressing systems, CCTV surveillance, emergency air brakes, derailment guard, smoke and fire detectors, and fire extinguishers. Efforts have also been made to achieve energy optimization.
The exhibition site is located right next to Sanjeeviah Park, Necklace Road. On display is a sleek, stainless steel model coach built by Hyundai-Rotem of South Korea. It is half the size of the actual thing. Housed inside a billowing, white tent with a cut-out of the driver’s cabin and the Metro logo, the prototype enables visitors experience the amenities made available to passengers. The project will operate along a total length of 72 km, with 3 high density traffic corridors (Miyapur – LB Nagar, JBS-Falaknuma, and Nagole-Shilparamam). With a double-track, elevated via duct system, user-friendly stations, and integration with MMTS and bus services (shown in a model laid out next to the prototype), Hyderabad Metro Rail will provide a much-needed boost to the city’s ailing public transport system.