Jaipur: The 2.4-km second stage of Jaipur Metro is expected to be completed by March 2018, in which advanced technology has been employed with an eye on preserving the city's rich heritage.
"We have completed one tunnel already. It is Badi Chaupar. The second tunnel is about to be completed. We are right on schedule and the completion date is around March 2018," said Christopher Mark Cooper, Project Leader of the Jaipur Metro.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has undertaken the development of first phase of Jaipur Metro corridor.
The work for the 9.25-km phase 1A from Mansarovar to Chandpole began in February 2011 and within a span of four years, DMRC completed the construction and made the route operational, making it one of the fastest project implementations in Metro sector.
While the construction for phase 1B is being done by a Taiwanese company, DMRC is playing the role of general consultant.
Phase 1B is aimed at providing the metro service in the more inward and congested but significant areas of Jaipur.
Apart from enhancing connectivity and improving the city's public transport system, DMRC and Jaipur Metro Rail Corporation (JMRC) are also making it a point to preserve and promote the city's rich cultural, architectural and archaeological heritage.
Excavation at the two chaupars (city squares) -- Badi Chaupar and Choti Chaupar -- which fall on the proposed phase 1B route was thus done in scientifically and archaeologically appropriate manner.
During the excavation at Choti Chaupar station, a nearly 300-year-old water reservoir ('baoli') with ancient tunnels on all four sides was restored.
JMRC plans to reconstruct it at its original location after the completion of Choti Chaupar station.
The design of Choti Chaupar station has been revised to accommodate the water body over station roof and depth of the station was also increased.
DMRC and JMRC came up with similar innovative approach in the case of Chandpole gate, which though historically significant, was falling in way of the tunnel being dug to connect Chandpole metro station with yet-to-be-constructed Badi Chaupar.
"Chandpole was a big challenge not due to geology but due to very low overburden machine so it is technically very challenging. It was nice to complete it with zero damage to the Jaipur Gate," Cooper said.
DMRC is expanding its footprint in other parts of the country.
It has done the detailed planning of Phase-I of Kochi Metro for a 25.612-km corridor from Aluva to Pettah with 22 stations.
The construction of Phase-I of Kochi Metro started in June 2013 and is expected to be completed in 2017.
DMRC has prepared the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for Metro lines in other Indian cities also and is a consultant for them in various capacities.
This includes Metro projects in Bengaluru, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, East West Corridor of Kolkata Metro, Mumbai, Lucknow, Nagpur, Noida-Greater Noida, Vijaywada and Surat.
"We have constructed the Jaipur Metro (phase 1A) in nearly four years. We are also constructing the Kochi Metro. In fact, trials have already started there. These are the projects where DMRC has itself done the construction. These constructions are on fast-track and the work is being done swiftly," a top DMRC official said.
DMRC is also making its presence felt in the international arena lately.
It recently completed Special Assistance on Project Implementation study for the Jakarta Mass Rapid Transit System in Indonesia.
It is also acting as a project consultant for the Dhaka Metro where it is helping in the preparation of specification and manuals for the Dhaka MRT-6 project.