An Exclusive Interview with Mr. Brijesh Dixit, Managing Director, MahaMetro (Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Ltd)

Mr. Brijesh Dixit

Managing Director, Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Ltd


An acclaimed Railway Administrator and an efficient infrastructure builder. An eminent institution builder and urban transport professional. Presently heading Nagpur/Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. as Managing Director.Currently as MD, Nagpur/Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation, built the organisation from scratch, being employee no. 1 on 18th Feb’ 2015, the day of its incorporation. Has ensured, a very expeditious start and fast progress of this major project overcoming numerous administrative and organizational challenges. Organised quick and smooth land acquisition; achieved fast tie up with international funding agencies viz. KfW Germany and AFD France. Ensured expeditious appointments of consultants and contractors. Achieved building up and functioning of organizational structure at board level and at the level of the corporation.

INTERVIEW With Dr. Brijesh Dixit

Rail Analysis India: Please highlight the special features of Pune Metro & Nagpur Metro for our global audience? What makes them truly special?

Mr. Brijesh Dixit: The unique and innovative features that are being implemented in the Nagpur Metro are:

  • Integrating Solar Energy from inception to meet 65% of energy requirements by installing solar panels along the station rooftops, depot shed rooftops and vacant spaces
  • Superior Project Management through Digital Project Management Platform 5D BIM to ensure project completion without any cost and time overrun and ensuring world class quality, safety and environmental protection of the project
  • Multi Modal Integration, Efficient & High-Quality Feeder Service to provide First and Last Mile Connectivity right from inception and promoting public and Non-Motorized Transport

  • EMV based common mobility card for seamless travel has been planned on PPP Basis. Same will be implemented at Pune, once the operation stage is reached
  • Optimization and rationalization of the design of civil and system infrastructure targeting cost savings of About 10% of the DPR Cost Estimate
  • Adoption of Transit Oriented Development since inception with half of revenue accruing to Maha-Metro
  • Setting of state of the art ultra-modern quality Labs with Bureau Veritas at works site to test the quality of materials used in the construction works and ensure overall quality of construction
  • MoU with DRDO for anaerobic Bio Digester to ensure 100% smart sewage treatment and ensure 100 % water recycling
  • Designing   state   of   the   art   station by adopting   unique architecture features by international architects
  • Non-Fare Box revenue is likely to be 50% of fare box revenues of the metro
  • NOVEL CITIZEN CONNECT in the form of Metro-Samvad has been adopted for direct communication with all stake holders including citizens to involve their active participation in the project.

These same features will be carried forward to Pune as well.

” A particularly noteworthy thing is about station development of Pune. A very distinct station architecture is being developed there fully reflecting the rich history, heritage, art, and culture of the great city if Pune. The stations near industrial area will reflect industrial themes. Those near historical monuments will include their theme. Stations by the riverfront will have a reflection of that in such a way that they become the modern identity of the city and are ready to complete the rejuvenation of the surrounding areas. Rich musical heritage of the city will also be suitably included in the station design. “

Rail Analysis India: What is current status of Pune and Nagpur metro projects? Can you please tell more about the achievements of Pune and Nagpur metro projects in last 3 months?

Mr. Brijesh Dixit: Nagpur Metro Rail Project consists of 38.215 Km elevated Metro Corridor which includes 40 stations and 2 train maintenance Depots, the Alignment is divided into two corridors i.e. North-South (19.658 Km) & East-West (18.557 Km). The estimated completion Cost is Rs. 8680 crores. The total physical progress achieved till 31st July 2018 is 67.36% and the financial progress is 44.89%.

The route length of Pune Metro Rail Project is 31.25 km (26.23 km elevated & 5.02 km underground) divided into two corridors i.e. from Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) to Swargate (16.59 Km) and from Vanaz to Ramwadi (14.66 km) with 30 stations and two Car Maintenance Depots. The approved completion cost is Rs. 11,420 crores. The approved completion cost is Rs. 11,420 crores. The total physical progress achieved till 31st July 2018 is 22% and the financial progress is 15%.

Rail Analysis India: When will the trials for first phase of both these project start? What are the expected completion timelines for both these projects?

Mr. Brijesh Dixit: Trial run of the very first section of 5.4 km of Nagpur Metro Rail Project was flagged off on 30th September 2017. The Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) authorization was received on 16th April 2018 and currently joy rides are carried out.

” The phase 1 of Nagpur Metro is expected to be completed by December 2019 with opening of 24 km by March 2019 and the remaining 14 km by the end of 2019. The Pune Metro project is expected to be completed by the end of 2021. “

Rail Analysis India: What will be the latest & modern facilities, commuters will have at stations and in the metro trains of the both these mega projects?

Mr. Brijesh Dixit: Metro stations and train would incorporate some of the most advanced and state of the art facilities aimed at providing overall comfort to all those using this service.

Some of the facilities provided at metro stations have been named here:

  • State of the art metro stations incorporating aesthetic designs
  • Themes and architectural designs that match the local flavor
  • Escalators and lifts to cross the platform and move over to other side
  • Displays and public-address system giving information about train movement
  • CCTV camera network installed to track every movement in the station premises
  • Child care facility room, especially for babies who need to be fed by mother
  • Door Frame Metal Detector (DFMD) and Hand-Held Metal Detector (HHMD) for checking
  • Baggage scanner to check every consignment that a passenger is carrying
  • Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) gates for easier access to passengers
  • Emphasis on maximum of natural light and sustainable material during construction
  • Solar panels for use of maximizing use of non-conventional energy
  • Rainwater harvesting and use of anaerobic bio-digesters for smart sewage treatment and water recycling
  • Basic amenities like supply of potable water and wash rooms for commuters
  • Dedicated parking slots and multi-modal integration facilities in the vicinity
  • Dedicated parking lots for non-motorized vehicle parking at select stations

While incorporating these special features at stations, Maha Metro has also included exclusive features for the specially able citizens. Some of such friendly features can thus be listed:

  • Low height ticket counter
  • Special bathrooms for specially able with tactile path
  • Switches with instructions in Braille language
  • Reserve parking and ramps for specially able
  • Wider AFC gates to accommodate wheel chair to pass through

The Metro Trains have also been designed by providing special features. The salient features are:

  • LED Lighting and Displays inside the metro coaches
  • Push buttons to enable passengers to talk to staff on board for help
  • Fully air-conditioned coaches to provide full comfort during journey
  • Reserved seating for women, elderly and those with special needs
  • Modern coaches with aesthetically pleasing design and CCTV camera watch
  • Automatic door opening/closing facility and VVVF drive for regenerative braking system

Rail Analysis India: How will these projects change the whole scenario of the transport sector of both cities? (Sir please add about the multi modal integration, first and last connectivity, feeder services, bike sharing, e vehicles)

Mr. Brijesh Dixit: Nagpur, like any other major city, has, over the years, seen industrialisation and a steady rise in its population. The city has witnessed certain industrial growth and a steady progress over the years. However, the city could not cope up with these twin phenomena of rising population and industrialisation. It’s high time for Nagpur to develop a better infrastructure and transport facilities. The proportion of citizens using public transport mode is as low as 10 %. The frequency of buses plying on city roads is low than desired. This leads to heavy dependence on private transport and people use their personal transport to commute in the city. The vehicles on city roads are predominantly two wheelers which are used by school & college going students and youths of Nagpur. Nagpur Metro Rail Project will ensure a definite shift and commuters would shift from private transport to metro. This would reduce number of accidents on the roads and safeguard environment for future generations. Pune is no different from Nagpur, when it comes to traffic-related issues. The ever-increasing vehicular population on city roads, demands that a mass rapid transport system be in place in the cultural capital of Maharashtra. Stations are being planned near bus stops, railway stations and major transit routes. An efficient form of sustainable urban transport will be provided in the form of metro. This will not only reduce the traffic woes of Pune, but also help in integrating various other modes of public transport.

While Maha Metro is going ahead with project work at Nagpur and Pune in an express mode, it has also planned introduction of – Multi Modal Integration in these two cities. The concept of Multi Modal Integration envisages assimilation of multiple modes of transport to help commuters to reach from one place to another. The modes which are planned to be integrated include metro train, local bus service, e vehicles, taxi service etc. Bike sharing would be an integral part of this feeder service. This integration would help commuters to reach either Metro Station, work area of residence using any of the above-mentioned transport modes and then travel further using Metro train. This will ensure Last Mile Connectivity across the city.

Rail Analysis India: Please brief us that how manufacturing 75% of metro components indigenously would provide a big boost to the railway industry of India?

Mr. Brijesh Dixit: In the year 2017, Government of India launched the Make in India initiative and the new Metro Rail Policy.  By virtue of the ‘Make-in-India’ policy of Government of India, it has been mandated to manufacture 75% of metro components indigenously. This policy driven initiative would not only bring in the latest manufacturing technology and best practises as a boost to the railway industry but also establish a good, robust and competitive manufacturing base in India. Such an initiative would also lower the manufacturing cost of metro components as India does offer a low-cost manufacturing ecosystem.

Since the rapid urbanisation occurring in the country demands city transport development in the form of an urban metro rail system, it is fully relevant and important to optimize the manufacturing cost of metro components.

Furthermore, this GOI initiative would also boost the economic growth of the country and generate significant number of jobs which are essentially required to contain unemployment in the country.

Rail Analysis India: What are your views on the progress of metro projects in India in last 4 years?

Mr. Brijesh Dixit: During the last 4 years, a significant amount of operational metro rail network has been added in the country. Also, a lot of new projects have started construction, and some are in the stage of preparation of DPR. This healthy progress signifies the willingness of people to shift from private transport to public transport. This shift from private transport to public transport is sustainable in the long run. This will make cities in India livable as metro project is environment friendly and viable.

Rail Analysis India: What are the future plans of the metro projects in Maharashtra and additional phases of Pune and Nagpur metro? What role can Foreign and Private Indian companies have in developing these projects in terms of supply of components, parts etc?

Mr. Brijesh Dixit: Even as work on the first phase is going on in a rapid pace, the proposal and demands for second phase re on the rise. Following are some such proposals and demands:

Nagpur – The second phase of Nagpur Metro Project has been conceived. It includes 35 stations and covers a distance of 48.3 km. This basically involves providing connectivity to surrounding areas and industrial townships. It encompasses providing Metro rail links to areas like Kanhan, Hingna, Butiboti, Dattawadi and Transport Nagar. Detail Project Report (DPR) for this has been submitted to Urban Development Department (UDD), Government of Maharashtra.

Pune – Similarly, Maha Metro has received requests for extension of the existing project alignment from local bodies of Pune. The demand for this includes the one from Pimpri Chinchwad to Nigdi, which covers a distance of 7 km, Swar Gate to Katraj (Pimpri Chinchwad) with a distance of 7 km and Nashik Fata to Chakan via Moshi, which spreads over a distance of 25 km. These proposals are under consideration.

Thane – While work on Nagpur and Pune projects is on the fast track, Maha Metro was entrusted with the task of preparing DPR for Thane.


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