Transforming Transit: Reimagining the future of urban transport

The fast-paced development of the metro network, the emergence of new transit systems and the adoption of advanced technologies have brought about a paradigm shift in the urban transportation landscape. Providing a cleaner mode of transit, these systems also align with the country’s sustainable development goals. Industry experts from leading metro corporations talk about the progress in the sector, the key challenges and future expansion plans…

How are metro rail systems contributing to the urban transportation landscape? What ha­ve been some of the key achievements of such projects?

Sharavan Hardikar, I.A.S., MD, Maha Metro

Sharavan Hardikar

Metros, as a mass transport system, have been enhancing the socio-economic functioning of ci­ti­es while becoming a ti­me­­­less infrastructural element for the urban milieu. A rail- based mass rapid transit system (MRTS) was conceptualised in Nagpur in the early 2010 to facilitate fast, affordable and safe public transportation.

Phase I of the project, covering 40 km and 38 stations in two corridors, was taken up in 2016 and was inaugurated on December 11, 2022 by the Honourable Prime Minister Naren­dra Modi. At the same time, Bhoomi Pujan for Phase II of the project, spanning 43.8 km and 32 stations, was done.

The priority stretch of Pune Metro, the North-South Corridor (PCMC to Phugewadi, spanning 7 km with five stations) and the East-West Corridor (Vanaz to Garware, spanning 5 km with five stations), was inaugurated in Mar­ch 2022. The section from Phugewadi Sta­tion to Civil Court Station (6.91 km with four stations) and Garware College Station to Ruby Hall Clinic Station (7.75 km with seven stations) was inaugurated by the Honourable Prime Mi­nis­ter on August 1, 2023.

There have been several noteworthy achie­ve­ments. For instance, for Nagpur Metro, on a single row of pillars, four to six lanes of national highway were planned on the first elevated level, with the metro rail at a higher level for about 9 km of length, while space on the ground level was for road vehicles. Of this, 3.14 km of national highway has been completed and commissioned, and has won the Guinness World Recor­ds title for being the longest such double-decker system. Additionally, in order to avoid affecting In­dian Railways traffic, a long span of 100 me­tr­es    (balanced cantilever technique) was install­ed across existing Indian Railways’ tracks.

Similarly, at another location, an 80-metre steel girder weighing about 1,700 mt was installed, with the national highway at the lower level and the metro rail at the higher level.

It has thus become a four-level transportation system, a one-of-its-kind in India. Multi­mo­d­al integration has been prioritised, property de­ve­lopment spaces have been established to bo­o­st non-fare box revenue, and the communications-based train control and 6D building information modelling IT platform have been adopted.

In Pune Metro, the railway crossing for the elevated metro viaduct is in the form of an op­en web through truss girder with a span length of 79 metre and weight of 603 mt. The launch was completed in a record-breaking 4 hours and 50 minutes. Additionally, the Civil Court Sta­tion, among the deepest in the country, is built at a depth of 108 ft.

The construction of the double-decker flyover, along with the metro portion on the top deck and bottom deck as a 2×2 lane road flyover at Nal Stop Junction, is another achievement for Pune Metro.

Sushil Kumar

Sushil Kumar, MD, UPMRC

Metro projects are the foundation of urbanisation, ensuring economic development and he­ral­ding the social transformation of a city. In Lucknow, people are travelling by the metro in large numbers, especially in congested are­as such as Charbagh, Singar Nagar, Kris­hna Nag­ar, Munshipulia and Haz­rat­ganj. The best part of the metro is its multi-modal connectivity, which offers seamless and direct connectivity to the airport, major railway stations and bus terminals.

Once operational, Phase 1-B of the East-West corridor of Lucknow Metro will further bolster connectivity by covering densely populated areas in old Lucknow.

Meanwhile, for Kanpur Metro, construction work on Corridor I is progressing in full swing. Fourteen train sets have been delivered to the Kanpur depot for the corridor. In April 2023, Kanpur Metro became the first metro service to launch an NCMC card in Uttar Pradesh. This is an interoperable transport card, which can be used at other metros, buses, parking lots and retail outlets.

Agra Metro is being developed as a 29.4 km long network spanning two corridors. Cons­truc­tion work at the 14 km long first corridor, betwe­en Taj East Gate and Sikandra, is moving at a fast pace. A world-class metro depot has been prepared for this corridor in the PAC premises. Construction of the 16 km long stretch between Agra Cantt and Kalindi Vihar will commence so­on. A priority corridor is being constructed within the city with a total of six stations. Of these, three elevated stations are ready and are undergoing testing of trains.

Vikas Kumar, MD, DMRC

Vikas Kumar

India was way behind the rest of the world in ter­ms of urban transport infrastructure, but with the advent of Delhi Met­ro, a paradigm shift occurred. Today, Delhi Met­ro is an exemplary model not only in India but world over, known for its construction and  O&M key performance indices.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that Delhi Metro has indeed transformed the urban transportation landscape of the National Ca­pital Region. On the one hand, the connectivity provided by DMRC revived the age-old markets of Chandini Chowk, Chawri Bazar and Karol Ba­gh, while on the other, it has helped in pro­pe­ll­ing the development of newer townships su­ch as Dwarka, Noida, Ghaziabad, Bahadur­garh, Fari­­dabad and Gurugram.

The metro stations have become vibrant hubs of activity, encouraging urban developme­nt in their vicinity. It has opened up new avenues of work, enabling women whose families were reluctant to let them travel to join the workforce, and has also facilitated late night commuting. As per a study conducted in 2021, Delhi Metro hel­ped remove more than 500,000 vehicles off the city streets, and saved about 270 million hours of passenger travel time.

The greatest achievement has been the sheer pace at which we have been able to de­ve­lop this world-class infrastructure. In a little over two decades, a 400 km long system has been constructed and operationalised.

Currently, the system handles about 6 million passenger journeys every day, connecting Delhi and satellite cities of NCR, making Delhi Metro one of the busiest systems in the world.

The modal shift towards metro has contributed to a greener and safer environment. As the city moves toward a more sustainable and connected future, DMRC will play a pivotal role in shaping Delhi’s urban landscape and imp­ro­ving the residents’ quality of life.

K.V.B. Reddy

K.V.B. Reddy, MD and CEO, L&T-Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Limited

The Hyderabad Metro network caters to appro­xi­mately 500,000 commuters daily, covering a total distance of 69.2 km across three corridors. It is the largest metro rail project in the world to be developed on the public-private partnership model. The project has been im­p­lemented on the urban redesign concept, whi­ch includes 18.5 million square feet of transit-oriented development. The Hyderabad Metro plays a very important role in the city’s economy by bringing lifestyle changes and generating employment opportunities, thus serving its commuters and the society at large.

As a major milestone, L&T Metro Rail Hy­derabad Limited (LTMRHL) achieved financial clo­sure within 180 days of signing the concessionaire agreement, despite several challenges.

What steps and technology initiatives have been taken to improve safety, operational ef­fi­ciency and passenger experience?

Shravan Hardikar

Nagpur Metro has implemented cutting-edge fire and safety systems that adhere to global standards. On the operations front, we have eq­uipped our operational control centre with state-of-the-art gadgets for monitoring train operations and detecting any snags. The communication-based train control signalling system en­sures smooth traffic flow as well as safety of train operations. CCTV systems have been set up to monitor commuter safety and security.

We are also setting up an Urban Metro Tra­nsportation Authority, which will undertake rou­te rationalisation along with other public transport facilities to enhance the overall experience of public commuting.

The installation of ballastless tracks with continuous welded head-hardened rails and the adoption of automatic train protection and automatic train supervision signalling systems have been proposed for Pune metro to improve track safety. Besides this, automatic train operation will be added in the future.

The rolling stock is provided with emergency evacuation facilities and the stations are provided with building management systems. The network monitoring and management system will help diagnose faults immediately, thus reducing the need for maintenance. Passenger amenities such as ticketing counters/automatic ticket-vending machines and ticketing gates are provided in the concourse.

“During the implementation and execution phase, cost reduction can be achieved through design optimisation. Contractors should employ state-of-the-art machinery for faster, safer and smoother execution.” Shravan Hardikar

Sushil Kumar

With the aim of ensuring the safety and security of passengers, more than 50 CCTV cameras have been installed at the metro stations of Lucknow and Kanpur. Additionally, 24 CCTV ca­meras have been installed inside the metro trains of both projects. Further, two passenger emergency intercom systems have been ins­ta­ll­ed inside each coach of the trains.

Meanwhile, special facilities and provisions are in place for disabled passengers, including ramps at stations, lifts, wheelchair facilities, wi­de AFC Gates, specially designed separate wa­sh­rooms, tactile paths, braille stickers, designated spaces for wheelchairs in the first and last coaches, and a “long stop” button that keeps train doors open for longer for easy de-boarding.

To ensure operational efficiency, features such as regenerative braking systems, a sleep mode in escalators, sensor lighting in washrooms and LED lighting at stations have also been implemented.

“Metro projects are the foundation of urbanisation, ensuring economic development and heralding the social transformation of a city

Vikas Kumar

Since the inception of DMRC, a conscious decision has been taken to adopt the latest technologies to enhance passenger experience and safety. Back in 2002, we were pioneers in introducing contactless smart tokens/cards in ticketing. We have also deployed a QR code-based mobile ticketing system. Our automatic fare collection infrastructure supports the National Common Mobility Card-enabled RuPay Bank Debit cards and UPI payments.

As for safety, we have been using the ATP system right from day one. The Pink and Mage­nta lines use a communication-based train co­n­­trol (CBTC) signalling system. Now, we are also developing our own CBTC technology to re­duce our dependence on foreign companies for procurement. We have already developed our indigenous i-ATS (automatic train supervision), which is a key component of CBTC, bringing us in the league of five countries in the world that possess this expertise.

In 2020, DMRC introduced India’s first driverless train services on the Magenta Line, re­sulting in greater reliability, punctuality and overall efficiency.

In our O&M practices, we are using an in-house developed integrated data management system. Moreover, IoT, AI and 3D printing are be­ing used in predictive maintenance of rolling sto­ck, signalling and E&M. We plan to use dro­nes and on-train external cameras for identifying issues related to track and overhead equipment.

We have been using rolling stock equipped with regenerative braking. LEDs with features like motion sensing and time-of-day adaptation are being used for lighting.

In the construction space too, we have introduced several innovations. These include India’s first extra dosed bridge over operational railways lines, a state-of-the-art 553 metre long continuous single pre-stressed box girder for the track across Yamuna using incremental la­un­ching, and a ballastless track to minimise the maintenance requirement and reduce running dimensions on structures.

For better project management, we use 5D BIM, ERP/SAP, Prima Vera, etc., while the work progress is monitored through indigenously de­veloped software called STAMP.

For a better passenger experience, we have provided charging and Wi-Fi facilities in trains, LED display panels, platform screen doors, lifts and escalators, ticket vending machines, customer care centres, etc. We have developed a state-of-the-art website and mobile app for commuters, and have turned certain stations into multi-service hubs, featuring book shops, cultural showcases, retail and food offerings.

“Delhi Metro has transformed the urban transportation landscape of the National Capital Region.” Vikas Kumar

K.V.B. Reddy

At Hyderabad Metro, our focus is on incorporating technologies that are pragmatic and easy to integrate to ultimately make the urban mass mo­bility efficient. We have adopted advanced signalling and train control technology and CBTC to manage the trains and achieve operational efficiency. The entire mainline has a ballastless tra­ck, which reduces the maintenance requirement and suits our time constraints (non-revenue ho­u­rs available for maintenance work). The trac­ks in depots are ballasted and special tracks. Fur­th­er, with a few soft upgrades, our trains are ca­pa­ble of going driverless.

A contactless automatic fare collection (AFC) system is being deployed to improve the efficiency of fare box collection and enhance passenger convenience. Passengers can avail of QR-based ticket booking through our own mobile app “T Savari” and other e-payment apps like Pay­tm, PhonePe and WhatsApp e-ticketing. We will also soon roll out an account-based ticketing system, which will be the next step towards ticketless journey, allowing people to travel using a secure token linked to their account.

“Hyderabad Metro Rail is one of the cleanest and greenest modes of transport.” K.V.B. Reddy

What are the biggest challenges that the sector faces today?

Shravan Hardikar

Executing projects of such dimensions is fraught with challenges. The trials are many and have to be dealt with deftly. Projects of such stature require huge land to meet  their multiple requirements. Land acquisition is one such pro­cess, which is not just time -consuming, but gets dragged for years if it enters the litigation stage. Executing projects in cities like Nagpur and Pune, for example, requires traffic management. The roads are often narrow and the traffic is high. Executing project in such co­nditions is a huge challenge. Metro projects are la­bour-intensive and demand unskilled, semi-ski­lled and skilled workers in huge numbers. The absence of skilled manpower in such conditions could hamper and even delay a project. Proper coordination with other con­ce­rned agencies or stakeholders is a major challenge. At times, this warrants making al­terations. Main­taining proper coordination with the local traffic police de­part­ment for day-to-day project-related activities is one such task. The biggest challenge that a metro or any transport-related services faces is of ridership. Despite reasonably low fares, commuter traffic was initially low.

A lot of persuasion was undertaken (th­rough Metro Samvaad/Mahiti Kendra) at various institutions and industries to encourage significant use of the metro. Rebates like students concessions, weekend discounts, daily passes, and Ga­zetted holidays were offered to commuters, whi­ch has helped in increasing ridership.

A metro service cannot function properly without providing last and first-mile connectivity. It is essential to ensure that commuters can be ferried from the station to the home/office and vice versa easily.

Sushil Kumar

A metro system in a Tier II city in India with a 25-35 km long network needs about Rs 1.25 billion-Rs 1.5 billion per year for day-to-day operations after commissioning. Most metros are able to generate the necessary revenue from fare and non-fare sources. Therefore, such sma­ller metros do not generally suffer losses or run on a cash-in cash-out basis. However, acc­ording to norms, additional revenue is expected to adjust for the deprecation of assets (about Rs 3 billion per year) and repay loans to funding institutions. The Government of India had an ambitious plan for metros to be self-sufficient even with respect to repayment of loans (about Rs 3 billion-Rs 4 billion per year), unlike most other government institutions. To this end, provisions have been made in the detailed project reports for the procurement of sufficiently large parcels of land (about 150 hectares) for metro projects under state governments for the generation of sufficient non-fare revenue, mainly to repay loans. Uttar Pradesh has become the first state to give about 86 hectares of land to UPMRC, for which consultants are already in place. Uttar Pradesh is also one of the first sta­tes to issue guidelines for transit-oriented development policies and the creation of a “Special Amenities Development Fund” to inc­rease non-fare box revenue.

Vikas Kumar

Acquiring land for construction is a key challenge. Our projects are located in urban areas where land is hard to find and expensive. Other issues include getting environmental, forest and Archeological Survey of India clearances, and acquiring right of way. Once the metro in operation, crowd management becomes a big challenge especially during peak hours. More­over, with the escalating demand to increase op­erational hours, the window available for maintenance is very small.

Further, with the adoption of new technologies for signalling, rolling stock and construction, the limited skill set and expertise of the human resource becomes a challenge. Finally, metro sy­stems are highly cost intensive to construct, ma­intain and operate, and thus, keeping the fa­res reasonable in a price-sensitive country like ours is a continuous challenge. We are always on a lookout to generate more non-fare revenue.

K.V.B. Reddy

In the pre-construction stage, there are several difficulties owing to the lack of a comprehensive map of underground utilities. Land-related obstacles, such as acquiring continuous right of way and acquisition of private land are also responsible for delays in project execution. The lack of standardisation of technical specifications is another challenge.

On the financing front, funding such long gestation infrastructure projects is challenging for private companies. Securing special funding with low interest rates and long durations, or funding tied with international agencies to provide low interest rates, is not available to private entities. The accuracy of traffic demand foreca­sts and ridership estimates are crucial for ensuring the financial viability of any metro rail project.

Finally, a good and sustainable urban tra­ns­port must be inherently multimodal. Trans­port demand varies from corridor to corridor and so does the capacity of various modes. For an economic public transport network, the mo­de for a corridor should suit the demand level on that corridor.

With a growing emphasis on sustainable de­velopment, what are the measures being ad­opted for project implementation and ope­rations?

Shravan Hardikar

Maha Metro has adopted the IGBC Green Mass Rapid Transit System Rating to ensure environmental sustainability, while also enhancing the commuter experience. During the implementation and execution phase, cost reduction can be achieved through design optimisation. Further, documentation hassles, funding issues and socio-political liaisons can be addressed by a dedicated cell. Contractors should employ state-of-the-art machinery for faster, safer and smo­o­ther execution. The approach to construction sh­ould be green, including the use of fly ash/gro­und granulated blast-furnace slag along with cement to generate carbon credits.

In the operations phase, key measures in­clude the adoption of solar power, as was do­ne in Nagpur metro, traction power regeneration through breaking technology, bio-digesters for reuse of disposable water in washrooms, low power-consuming equipment and lighting accessories, building management systems at stations for automated lighting control, rainwater harvesting, and e-vehicles for first and last-mile connectivity.

Since its inception in 2018, Nagpur metro has produced around 1 million kWh of renewable energy. Nagpur metro has also come up with the concept of “Little Wood”, an artificial fo­rest, with over 15,000 medicinal, ornamental, flowering, fruit-bearing trees of different va­rieties being planted there.

Sushil Kumar

All UPMRC metro projects are sustainable and have adopted multiple green Initiatives, such as:

  • Harnessing solar energy: A solar plant with 1.28 MW of capacity has been installed at the administrative building premises of the Lucknow Metro, along with a solar plant of 1.1 MW capacity at the Transport Nagar Me­tro Depot. These solar plants have generated 3 million units of electricity till date.
  • Rainwater harvesting: Along the 23 km-long North-South stretch, over 300 rainwater harvesting pits have been created with the capacity to harvest 2 million litres of water. A similar arrangement has been planned for Kanpur and Agra. Upon completion, these projects will create an additional 1.5 million to 2 million litres of rainwater harvesting ca­pacity in those cities.
  • Regenerative energy in trains and lifts: The rolling stock has an efficiency of 40 per cent in the Lucknow Metro and 45 per cent in the Kanpur and Agra Metros, due to regenerative braking technology. Regenerative braking is also used in the lifts of all UPMRC projects. Lifts in various metro premises have re­­corded nearly 37 per cent energy efficiency. Moreover, the Kanpur Metro trains have carbon-dioxide sensor-based air-conditioning systems, which operate according to the number of passengers present on the train, thus saving energy.
  • Relocation and transplantation of trees: For the Lucknow Metro, over 400 trees have been transplanted with a survival rate of over 95 per cent. A similar model has been followed in Kanpur. In Agra, UPMRC is working with the forest department to plant 10 trees for every single tree that is cut. UPMRC has also identified a land parcel for compensatory afforestation in the city.
  • Water usage: UPMRC has installed water fixtures at stations and depots, which are 30-40 per cent more efficient than conventional fixtures. Further, to minimise water wastage, se­w­age treatment plants have been installed at various metro stations and depots. Waste­wa­ter is being recycled for horticultural purposes. The Lucknow Metro depot is also functioning as a “zero discharge facility”.

Lastly, Lucknow Metro has become the fir­st metro in India to have 100 per cent LED lighting in trains and stations.

Vikas Kumar

Sustainability is at the very core of all our functions. Currently, we are contributing to an emission reduction of about 2.2 million tonnes of CO2 annually. About 35 per cent of our power re­qui­rements are now being met from renewable so­urces. We generate about 50 MW of solar power ourselves, through rooftop plants at our depots, stations and residential colonies. In addition, we procure 99 MW solar power from an offsite plant in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh.

We focus strongly on recycling of construction waste. A state-of-art recycling plant has been set up which supplies recycled materials to our sites. For every tree cut, we make a provision for the plantation of ten trees. So far, DMRC has planted over 500,000 tress as a compensatory plantation under Phase-I, II and III, while 9,026 trees have been successfully transplanted.

We have also established rainwater harvesting infrastructure at 233 locations, effluent treatment plants at 13 locations and se­wage treatment plants at 86 locations with capacities of 18,038.99 cubic metres, 916 kilo litres per day (kld) and 3,498 kld respectively.

K.V.B. Reddy

Hyderabad Metro Rail is one of the cleanest and greenest modes of transport, which contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the carbon footprint in Hyderabad. Our met­ro stations are generally located on elevated plat­­forms, which reduce the power requireme­nts for train acceleration and deceleration, re­sul­ting in energy conservation.

Further, LTMRHL has 8.35 MW of captive solar capacity installed across its premises, catering to the energy requirements of metro stations and depots. Over 28,000 solar panels are mounted on the ground or on station roof­tops to harness over 1 million units of energy per month. Harnessing solar energy has re­du­c­ed our dependency on conventional energy sources by almost 14 per cent.

Besides the use of green energy, several other environmental sustainability measures are being taken. These include the use of re­ge­nerative trains (with around 40 per cent energy regeneration), integration of over 50 EV charging points across 17 stations, deployment of LED lights with dimmer effects, 100 per cent daylight and cross ventilation at platform and concourse levels, adoption of water-saving me­a­­sures such as rainwater harvesting pits at all stations and depots, low water closets and fau­cets in toilets, and incorporation of dedicated parking spaces integrated into station designs wherever space is available.

Meanwhile, both Uppal and Miyapur depots are zero discharge, water- and energy-surplus premises. We have also already initiated the “Cle­an Development Mechanism – CDM” registration process with the United Nations Frame­work Convention on Climate Change along with the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

What will be the key focus areas in the coming years? What are the plans for network expansion?

Shravan Hardikar

Maha Metro has major expansion plans for the coming years for the three cities of Nagpur, Pune and Navi Mumbai. The Bhoomi Pujan for Phase II of Nagpur Metro was done in December   2022. Currently, preliminary activities such as soil and geotechnical investigations, tender documents preparation and calling of tenders are under way. Physical execution is expected to co­mmence in the next few months and commissioning is targeted in four years.

The completion of the remaining stretches from Bund Garden to Ramwadi section (including four stations) and Civil Court to Swargate se­ction (including three stations) is a priority for Pune Metro, which is expected to be completed by December 2023. Another focus is obtaining approval from the centre for the extension of new lines in Phase 1 (9.87 km with six stations) and Phase II (105.92 km with 97 stations).

Work on Navi Mumbai Metro (Line 1 – 11 km with 11 elevated stations), previously being executed by the City and Industrial Deve­lop­me­nt Corporation (CIDCO), has been handed over to Maha Metro along with its operations and maintenance due to the technical and contractual issues that had delayed the project. The project is now ready for inauguration. Maha Metro is in talks with CIDCO for awarding work on Navi Mumbai Metro Line 2 on a deposit basis.

Sushil Kumar

Uttar Pradesh, being the most populous state in India and the fourth largest in terms of land area, will see an expansion of its metro rail network across all major cities. A comprehensive mobility plan has been prepared for Prayagraj, Bareilly, Jhansi, Ayodhya, Varanasi, etc. The following metro projects are in the planning stage:

  • Gorakhpur Metro: The project will likely operate as a Metro lite system. The DPR covers two corridors – Shyam Nagar to MMM Engi­ne­ering College, and BRD Medical College to Nausad Chauraha.
  • Prayagraj Metro: The latest DPR is being prepared by RITES and is under the authorities’ consideration. It will include two corridors – Bamrauli to City Lake Forest (22.30 km long, with 16 elevated and two underground stations), and Shantipuram to Cheoki (20.11 km long, with 16 elevated stations).

The Bareilly, Ayodhya and Jhansi Metro Sy­stems are also at the planning stage, and will soon seek approval.

Vikas Kumar

Sustainability, indigenisation and enhanced passenger experience will be our key focus areas. We are also working on increasing our solar po­wer generation capacity, designing stations with better green building rating, increasing the use of recyclable products, and deploying efficient technology in construction and O&M.

As for expansion, we are currently enga­ged in developing 65 km under Phase IV. Whi­le two lines will be added to the operational Magenta and Pink Lines, a new corridor (Sil­ver Line) will connect Tughalkabad with Del­hi Aerocity. The­se sections are likely to be operationalised by 2026. Meanwhile, three more corridors constituting 47 km are under active consideration co­vering sections of Lajpat Nagar-Saket G Block, Inderlok–Indra­pra­s­tha and Rithala-Ba­wana– Kundli.

In a bid to open new revenue streams, we will be providing O&M for a 33.5 km section of Mumbai Metro’s Line-3. Meanwhile, given our expertise in constructing and operating one of the largest and busiest metro systems in the world, we are also poised to enter the international market, both for consultancy and operations of MRTS. We are already working as general consultants for the Dhaka Metro and are hopeful of securing projects in countries like Bahrain and Israel.

K.V.B. Reddy

Population and economic growth have driven urbanisation in India. We have witnessed a consistent increase in the number of urban towns and cities. This growth is expected to continue in the years to come, resulting in a continued de­mand for a new network of pollution-free urban mass transportation. This makes the prospects for metro rail sector very optimistic.

As for L&TMRHL’s future plans, the Gov­ernment of Telangana is taking charge of the second phase, and has initiated the ex­pansion of the metro network in the city. The foundation for the Hyderabad Airport Expre­ss Metro was laid in December 2022. Re­cently, the Telan­ga­na cabinet has approved an expansion of 309 km, which includes 278 km across eight metro extension corridors and four corridors along the Outer Ring Road, Phase II of the BHEL-Lakdi-ka-Pul to Miya­pur corridor (26 km), and 5 km of Na­gole-to-LB Nagar.