Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Interaction- Kumar Keshav, MD, UPMRC

The Lucknow Metro is indeed the pride of the city.


The Lucknow Metro has achieved the distinction of being the fastest-ever executed metro project in the country. It has state-of-the-art amenities such as world-class stations with free Wi-fi, escalators, elevators and automatic fare collection machines. Other facilities include the inter-car passage, LED lighting, spaces for baby prams and wide doors for differently abled passengers. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES, KUMAR KESHAV, MD, UTTAR PRADESH METRO RAIL CORPORATION LIMITED, speaks about the fastest constructed, executed and implemented metro project in India within the allocated budget, challenges and future plans.



Give a brief overview of the Metro Rail industry in India, opportunities and challenges.

The Metro Rail Mass Rapid Transportation Systems (MRTS) has been widely accepted as an alternative to mass transport in urban India due to the increasing population, heightened vehicular traffic, and environmental pollution. MRTS and Metro rail construction activities are being undertaken across the country.

Around 702-km of conventional metro is operational and another 1,016-km of metro and RRTS projects are under construction in 27 cities. Before the year 2014, only 225 km of metro network became operational in 10-12 years. However, with the frantic pace of metro construction in India during the last six years, over 450 km of metro network has become operational.

There has been a shift in focus towards Tier 2 cities with new metro rail constructions having started in cities like Surat, Indore, Kanpur, Bhopal, Patna, etc. While some are greenfield projects, others are expanding their existing railway network with new lines. Two new innovative transport systems - MetroLite and MetroNeo are also in line to provide a metro rail network at a much lesser cost in Tier 2 cities and in the peripheral areas of Tier 1 cities.

In Uttar Pradesh, construction activities for a metro network in Agra and Kanpur are moving at a fast pace. Half of the piling work for the Agra Metro Rail Project has been completed in record time.

Government initiatives like Atma-Nirbhar Bharat and Make in India have significant implications for Metro Rail Projects. A huge number of cities in India are developing metro rail projects with indigenization in the shortest time possible.

The Lucknow Metro has achieved the distinction of being the fastest-ever executed metro project in the country, as the entire project has been completed in just four and half years. The Lucknow Metro is indeed the pride of the city.



Please brief us on the current status of the Lucknow metro rail project? Also provide us details regards to the deadlines set and met for overall project completion. Also please brief us on the ridership, what are steps taken to enthuse people to travel by metro.

Lucknow Metro Phase-1A Project consisting of North-South Corridor stretching from CCS Airport to Munshipullia covering a stretch of 22.878 km with 17 elevated and 4 underground stations has been completed on 8th March, 2019 and is now fully operational. Proposed East-West Corridor (Phase-1B) which is 11.165 km from Charbagh to Vasantkunj with 7 underground and 5 elevated stations is under approval of State Government.

  • DPR for Lucknow Metro was submitted by DMRC to State Govt for approval in July,2013. State Govt approved the implementation of North-South corridor initially in August,2013 and sent it to MoUD, GOI for approval.
  • Project implementation commenced on 27th September, 2014.
  • Project approved by MoUD, Government of India on 25.01.2016 .
  • Project implementation undertaken at a very fast pace and commercial operation started on Priority section from Transport Nagar to Charbagh (8.5 km) on 05.09.2017 in less than 3 years period thereby achieving the distinction of fastest Metro project implementation in the Country.
  • The 22.878 km long entire North-South Corridor (Phase 1A) with 17 elevated and 4 underground stations from CCS Airport to Munshipullia became fully operational on08.03.2019when Hon’ble Prime Minister flagged-off the inaugural Metro train in a record period of less than 4.5 years, 36 days ahead of schedule.
  • More than 3.65 crore passengers have travelled in Lucknow Metro since the commencement of operations. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, within a year of metro operation, ridership had reached around 78000 per day. The Lucknow Metro Rail Project has achieved the fastest ridership recovery as compared to other metro rail projects in India after the first and second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and is currently carrying around 65000 passengers per day.



Brief us on the uniqueness in your metro in terms of design and value added services to the end user.

Kanpur - Twin Piercaps, 2 T Girder first time used in MRTS projects in INDIA. Lucknow - 10% concession provided to Metro smart Card holder.



Provide us details on the Agra & Kanpur metros, expected cost of the project, funds disbursed so far and additional funds sanctioned?

The estimated cost of the Agra Metro project is `8379.62 Crores whereas the cost of Kanpur Metro project is `11,076.48 crores.



Your comments as to how it will impact the community and ease transportation in the cities.

Metro Rail Projects are widely implemented as a means of effective public transport across various cities in the world. This system is designed to bring ‘best-in-class’ mobility in the City by providing convenient, safe, reliable, and cost-effective public transport system connecting and creating vibrant urban spaces. The advantages of this system in general are as follows:-

  • Can achieve very high carrying capacity (40,000 – 80,000 PHPDT)
  • Requires 1/5th energy per passenger km. compared to road
  • Causes no air pollution in the city.
  • Reduces noise level.
  • Occupies no road space, if underground and only centre median (about 2 Metre wide) of the road, if elevated.
  • Carries same amount of traffic as up to 6 lanes of bus traffic or up to 26 lanes of private motor cars (either way)is more reliable, comfortable and safer than road based system.
  • Reduces journey time by 50-75% depending on the road conditions.
  • Beyond 15,000 PHPDT, rail based systems are financially superior than road based systems
  • The economic and social benefits of the rail based systems make them attractive even at lower PHPDT.




What are the challenges specific to the metro projects and how has it been overcome.

Utility identification proved to be a challenge. The entire city had already been utilized for civic infrastructure facilities. The old city area had a high water level which created difficulties in underground construction. The roads in those areas were congested and traffic management became a core issue.

Traffic diversion was a challenge because substitute routes were needed to ease the problems. The UPMRC team had to widen some footpaths, remove electrical poles, cables & also shift some water pipelines and sewer lines. With efficient management, it was ensured that the public did not face any trouble.

  • During the construction phase of underground section, 4.5 lakh tonnes of mud was removed to make tunnels. A total number of 2321 piles were erected during the construction phase which included 541 pile caps as well.
  • 21 different types and sizes of steel spans were constructed in this project like 60 m steel span (near Nishatganj flyover) and 45 m steel spans (one beside Hotel Clark Awadh and four in Indira Nagar, in proximity to HAL). Apart from this, the 541 piers, 262 pier caps and 39 cantilever pier caps were also erected successfully.
  • The most remarkable achievement was the erection of curved U-girders near IT intersection for the first time by Lucknow Metro Project team.
  • The erection of I-girders near the polytechnic intersection was also difficult due to traffic congestion in the area.
  • A total number of 634 U-girders were erected on the elevated stretch of the North-South corridor from KD Singh Stadium to MunshiPulia. These U-girders are 27 m long and 4.1 m wide, weighing around 150 tonnes.
  • The major challenges like erection of 225 m long balanced cantilever span at Mawaiya railway crossing with operational Indian railways lines beneath, erection of 60 m special steel span at Awadh rotary, 177 m long balanced cantilever bridge on Gomti river and another 60 m special steel span at Nishatganj (constructed in just 5 days), were overcome by strategic planning and careful execution by the dedicated team of engineers.



Green initiatives taken for the Metro Rail project.

UPMRC made sure that the green cover of the city remains intact and more and more green practices were adopted during the construction phase. Around 410 trees were transplanted (pulled along with the roots and relocated elsewhere) and altered the route map’s design at certain places to save over 500 trees. UPMRC also took steps towards waste reduction and use of renewable resources (Solar panels installed at Transport Nagar).

To keep the city’s roads clean, a wheel washing plant was installed at construction sites and every loading-unloading vehicle that moved out of the construction site was made to pass through the wheel washing plant. Only after the dirt-packed wheels were washed and cleansed off the construction mud, the vehicles moved outside the construction site onto the city roads.


Green Initiatives:

  • Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) certified LMRC a “Green Metro Rail System”, awarding platinum certificate to all its eight Metro stations on the ‘Priority Corridor’ from Transport Nagar to Charbagh.
  • LMRC was awarded with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001:2004 & the Occupational Health & Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS)
  • 18001:2007 certificates in recognition of the organization’s integrated management system which complies with the ISO & OHSAS standards and requirements


Solar Initiatives:

  • LMRC has installed 1 MWP capacity of solar panels on the roof of its Workshop Cum Inspection Bay at the Transport Nagar Metro Depot which is producing electricity for usage in the Depot, Metro Stations and at other Metro utilities with effect from 14 th March, 2018.
  • Solar Panels of 10 KW capacity has also been installed at the roof of Transport Nagar Receiving Sub Station (RSS)at the Transport Nagar Metro Depot for meeting out the operational power requirements of the RSS.
  • Solar panels of 12 KW capacities have also been installed at the roof of the Lucknow Metro’s Administrative Building at Vipin Khand, Gomti Nagar. These are also operational and the office is already saving a substantial amount on the electricity bill on account of this.
  • Apart from these solar initiatives, Lucknow Metro has taken several energy conservation measures such as use of regenerative braking in the trains which is resulting in saving of 30 to 35 per cent traction energy thereby resulting in reduction in emission of Green House Gases (GHG).



Detail us with regards to the latest technologies being used in the metro rail project.

Double T-girders: First time in the country, Double T-girders have been used for the construction of the concourse of elevated metro stations. Construction of Concourse of all 9 Metro stations of Priority Section completed in a record time of 7 months and 17 days.


Twin Pier Cap: For the first time in India, use of Twin pier cap instead of portal arrangement for Depot Entry/Exit line.



Future Plans and outlook on metro’s in India.


  • DPR for Gorakhpur LRT consisting of two corridors has been prepared by UPMRC and submitted to GoUP for approval on 11.06.2019.
  • DPR contains two corridors for the implementation of Metro Rail which are:
  • Corridor-1: Shyam Nagar to MMM Engineering College (15.14 km)
  • Corridor-2: BRD Medical College to NausadChauraha (12.70 km)
  • Metrolite project is under consideration of GoI.



  • DPR of Lucknow East- West Corridor submitted to GoUP on 13.02.2019.
  • Details of the corridors proposed are as given below:


Elevated (Km)
Underground (Km)
Total Length (Km)
Charbagh to Vasantkunj
5 (4.286 km)
7 (6.879 km)
12 (11.165 km)



  • Corridor total length: 11.165 km, Estimated Completion Cost: `4888 Crore
  • Metro project is under consideration of GoUP



  • Corridor-1 of Meerut Metro Rail Project coincides with proposed RRTS corridor in Meerut City, hence it is merged with RRTS Corridor as per the decision taken by the State Govt. RRTS project is being implemented by National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC).
  • DPR for Corridor-2 of Meerut Metro Rail Project is under process for updation in accordance with standard specifications issued by MoHUA for Metrolite System.



  • DPR for Prayagraj Metro Rail Project is under preparation in accordance with standard specifications issued by MoHUA for Metrolite System.
  • In addition to above, preparation of Detailed Progress Reports for MRTS in Varanasi and Jhansi is in progress.
  • Besides above Metro Projects, Noida Metro’s Aqua Line from Sector 51 station to Depot Station in Greater Noida (29.7 km) has been operational since January 2019 with a completion cost of `5503 Crore and Dilshad Garden to Shaheed Sthal (New Bus Adda) Corridor of Delhi Metro from Shahid Nagar to Shaheed Sthal (Bus Adda) (9.63 km) has been operational since March, 2019 with a completion cost of `1781 Crore and Noida City Centre to Noida Electronic City Metro Corridor from Sector 34 to Electronic City (6.675 km) has been operational since March 2019.


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