Government standardizing norms for Metro Rail Projects

By Accommodation Times News Service

The Urban Development ministry is working on to set standardized norms for Metro Rail Projects across the country and six sub-committees appointed by it will soon submit their final reports in this regard.

“We are working on for standardization of Metro projects in the country. We have formed six sub-committees looking after Metro’s different aspects like signaling system, rolling stocks, automated fare collection, bridges.

“Some committees have submitted their reports, they have been given certain feedbacks and are working on putting the final papers,” said Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) director Prakash Singh said at a seminar on Monorail and Light Rail Transit (LRT).

The decision was taken because most of the new metro projects have different working specifications. Most of the manufacturers are foreign companies. Unless they get an idea of Metro rail in India and what is the demand, they won’t have a clear picture on how to carry out the projects, Singh said.

The UD Ministry has also asked Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to appoint Chief Vigilance Officers (CVOs) in Metro Railway Corporations for more transparency. Currently, about Rs 1lakhcrore have been put into several Metro railway projects across the country. Of this the union government has contributed Rs 20,000crore…So we need to have someone who can keep a check on whether guidelines are followed,” Singh said. He said presently only DMRC has a CVO and he too is on the rolls of the corporation.

Central Vigilance Commission guidelines state that CVO should not be on the pay roll of the parent organization. So, we have decided that a CVO of joint secretary rank should be appointed for Metro projects, Singh said.

“We have asked DoPT to have CVOs like the way we have for Public Sector Undertakings. This model would be applicable for Metro projects where the Centre and state have 50:50 equity stakes,” he said. The UD ministry also wants two posts of Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS).

“To ensure that a Metro Railway is safe for operations it has to be approved by CMRS. Currently, the Commissioner of Railway Safety discharges these duties. We are in process of sanctioning two posts of CMRS. The Ministry for Civil Aviation looks after this. They have moved the proposal,” Singh said. Urban Development ministry joint secretary S K Lohia expressed the need to have similar standardization of system for monorails in India. The first Monorail in Mumbai is expected to start by the end of the year. Delhi too is expected to have the first Monorail corridor by 2017.

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