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Mr. Kumar Keshav has been a pillar of strength in tougher times who has led from the front in realizing this dream of Lucknow Metro into reality. He continues to lead Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation (UPMRC) in charge of all the Metro projects in the state of Uttar Pradesh like Kanpur Metro, Agra Metro, etc. UPMRC has also achieved numerous milestones, international & national awards under his supervision & visionary insight since the inception of the Lucknow Metro project.
He was recently announced as the winner of ‘Infra-Man of the Year 2020’ at Rail Infra and Mobility Business Digital Awards (RIMBDA) 2020 for his remarkable achievements & exemplary contribution to the infrastructure sector. Moreover, UPMRC’s Lucknow Metro project was also adjudged as the ‘Green Mobility Project’ of the year.
In the recent conversation with Urban Transport News, he talks about the major challenges and current progress of metro rail projects under his leadership in various cities of Uttar Pradesh, India.
First, our heartiest congratulations on bagging the “Infra-Man of the Year” award in the individual category at Rail Infra and Mobility Business Digital Awards 2020. What did you feel when you heard the first time that you won this global award?Thanks a lot for your wishes! I felt quite satisfied upon receiving this award and extend my gratitude to the Rail Infra and Mobility Business Digital Awards for this honour. We, at UPMRC, have worked consistently round the clock over the past 5 years to offer seamless services of the Lucknow Metro to the public. Recognition like this not only boosts our morale & but continues to motivate us to constantly raise the bar and perform even better. We hope to carry this momentum of civil construction work for the upcoming Kanpur and Agra Metro projects as well. Awards like these foster a sense of pride and responsibility in our UPMRC team so that we can collectively strive hard to meet new challenges.
Could you please tell our readers about your professional journey in Rail & Metro sectors? The challenges you had faced in the execution of major infrastructure projects under your leadership?I am an Indian Railway Service of Engineers (IRSE) officer and a gold medallist from IIT-Kanpur (M. Tech.) and IIT-Roorkee (B.E.). I took over as UPMRC's Managing Director on August 18, 2014, formerly known as Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC). The whole project work of the Lucknow Metro Rail Project of phase-1A was completed by the committed team of UPMRC in just 4 years 6 months.
Previously I served as Director (Projects & Planning) at Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), and successfully completed and commissioned various projects in Delhi Metro during my tenure. Lucknow Metro has achieved the distinction of being the fastest executed metro project in the country. Even contemporary Metro projects in the country have not been able to match up with the speed of deliverance as compared to LMRC in project execution.
The major challenge in all metro projects is to garner the support of the general public. However, we were able to develop a favourable public opinion through consistent stakeholder engagement and community interaction programs. The other challenges we faced during the project phase were in the field of engineering construction. For instance: in the case of Lucknow Metro, LMRC had undertaken the construction of a balanced cantilever span of 255 meters at Mawaiya Railway Crossing. This work was executed at a height of 21.5 meters above the ground level while crossing over a railway line at a height of 15.2 meters from the ground level amidst the heavy main road traffic.
The Metro Depot land was earlier being used by the PAC but was later on acquired by UPMRC to construct its depot. This was a green area patch with several huge trees. We didn’t cut a tree and instead transplanted relocated them along our depot periphery with the help of heavy cranes.
Kindly highlight some commuter-friendly initiatives implemented in the “Lucknow Metro” under your leadership.Lucknow Metro is committed to the vision of providing safe, fast, affordable, convenient, hassle-free, and barrier-free (for differently able) mobility solutions to the commuters. It has world-class infrastructure incorporating state of the art technology with modern stations having amenities like free Wi-Fi, free drinking water & washroom facilities, escalators, elevators, and automatic fare collection gates. Other facilities include the inter-car passage, 100% LED lighting, spaces for baby prams, and wide doors for differently-abled passengers.
We are also working in the direction of improving the first and last-mile connectivity. We have inked MoU with Urban Mass Transit Company (UMTC) and Uber for feeder services from metro stations. We are also planning to hire e-rickshaws as a convenient and eco-friendly feeder service. Most of our metro stations have a parking facility for commuters.
Kindly tell our readers about some salient features of the Lucknow Metro Rail project that made this project unique from other metro projects in India.Lucknow Metro envisions being a sustainable mobility solution for commuters of the city in the long run. Various measures have been undertaken to ensure compliance with environmental norms since the inception of the project itself. For instance- over 35% of trees were saved by tweaking the design and alignment of the Lucknow metro. Several energy conservation measures have been adopted such as the use of regenerative braking in the trains that save 30-35% traction energy resulting in reduced emission of Green House Gases (GHG), use of Variable Voltage Variable Frequency (VVVF) drive for all lifts and escalators, provision of LED lights at stations, use of energy-efficient equipment for Environmental Control System (ECS) and Tunnel Ventilation System (TVS) system for underground stations.
This article first appeared on www.urbantransportnews.com
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