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While the recent on-site accidents are a serious cause of concern, there are other issues which the metro projects need to tackle comprehensively. Prof. SS Chakraborty, chairman, Consulting Engineering Services (I) Pvt Ltd presents a brief overview

The Metro projects have faced major problem due to the financial turmoil as metro projects require a large capital investment and funding. These projects have high operational costs vis-a-vis revenues. Land acquisition, feasibility study, project viability and quick clearances from civic agencies are also some of the serious challenges faced by metro projects.
There is always an imminent need for an effective multi-modal integration in the changing paradigm of transportation in India. There are other issues such as adherence to safety hazards during construction, inadequacy of construction, advanced contracting skills and merging latest technology into the metro projects.
There is wider scope of engagement and collective synergies required to spearhead such projects. The governmental authority should motivate the private sector with incentives and sops for aggressive participation in order to minimize the viability gap.

Government role
The government has a pivotal role to play in the development of the Metro Rail Projects throughout India. In order to build a world class infrastructure, it is necessary to have a long range sustainable urban planning for metro projects and metro-oriented development.
The architects and planners of such huge projects must ensure that land acquisition mechanism and rules are simplified. This will aid in smoother execution and optimum usage of resources as well as timely completion of rail projects. Furthermore, by preparing a model concession agreement for different classes of cities and developing multimodal terminals for seamless transfers, the government and allied agencies involved would make the project execution easily.
Financing such large projects is a Herculean issue, so alternative funding options should be in place to prevent delay as there are high costs involved in the acquisition of land areas around the metro sites for commercial exploitation. In addition, the government should envisage creation of a dedicated fund through higher taxes on private motor vehicles, higher FSI and by levying transferable development rights.

Key Metro projects of CES
1. General Consultancy Services for Kolkata East West Metro Project (including procurement, construction, testing and commissioning of the complete Kolkata Metro Rail Project, East West Corridor)
2. Preparation of Detailed Project Report for the Proposed Mass Rapid Transit System for Thane City (on BOT Basis)
3. Detailed Design of Two Stations for Delhi Metro Contract DD1J, Rail Corridor
4. Detailed Design of Four Stations For Delhi Metro Contract Dd1b, Rail Corridor

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June 2020
10 Jun 2020