Come March 7 and we can let loose the horses we have held for so long in the anticipation of travelling in Nagpur Metro!
The 13-km Sitabuldi-Khapri section of Reach 1 will be inaugurated by none other than the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the set date at 5pm via video conferencing from New Delhi. Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis will then inaugurate the first train from Sitabuldi station.
With the inauguration, Nagpur will officially become the second city in Maharashtra and tenth city in India to have Metro rail. While the at-grade section of MahaMetro was functional since April 2018, the commercial operations still hadn't kicked off. In the meanwhile, joyrides were conducted from Khapri to Airport South station to give the riders a brief experience.
The stretch from Lokmanya Nagar to Subhash Nagar of Reach 3 will not be operational even though planned, as the commissioner of metro rail safety (CMRS) could not inspect it due to the shortage of time.
The CMRS is said to visit the city again once the election dates would be announced, which is said to be sooner than later. However, the opening of Reach 3 will reportedly be an apolitical affair as the protocols do not permit MPs and MLAs from being a part of any public event.
The certificate by Research Design and Standards Organization (RDSO) will be issued and will then be sent for Railway Board’s approval on Tuesday, according to a Metro official. “Our team has already gone to Delhi with the certificate. Another team will camp at CMRS office in Mumbai. As soon as we get Railway Board’s stamp on the certificate, we will mail it to CMRS and get the authorization certificate from it,” he said.
Nagpur has set a record of being the fastest Metro to make the at-grade section operational. The 5.5 kilometres stretch was functional within just 30 months of the beginning of the construction work. It is the Lucknow Metro that holds the record of fastest Metro to begin commercial operations as it took merely 36 months to flag off. Nagpur Metro comes second in line with 41 months as the duration to achieve this feat.
The Metro official further added that Nagpur Metro also could have set off for commercial operations three to four months ago if the agency would have stuck to one particular plan and not changed it often. “As per the detailed project report (DPR) our viaduct was to be located on the road in front of Ramkrishna Mission, Dhantoli. However, we were asked to shift it through Central Jail. The double decker flyover was not part of our project but National Highways Authority of India’s (NHAI’s) project was entrusted to us. Then due to opposition from residents, the location of Ujjwal Nagar railway underbridge (RUB) had to be shifted,” he added.
Only 6 out of the 11 stations of the Sitabuldi-Khapri stretch viz. — Khapri, New Airport, Airport South, Airport, Jaiprakash Nagar and Sitabuldi – will be operational initially. Stations at Ujjwal Nagar, Chhatrapati Square, Ajni Square, Rahate Colony and Congress Nagar will become operational eventually in phases.
Information source: timesofindia