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Compact stations, lower expense on artwork

Compact stations, lower expense on artwork

New Delhi:

Compared with the glitzy and swanky Phase-III stations of Delhi Metro, the upcoming Phase-IV ones are likely to witness a more austere and functional appearance.

After recently approving three of the six proposed corridors of Phase-IV, the Centre has asked Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to reduce the cost of the project by 10-15%, and DMRC is finding innovative ways to do so — by including smaller and compact stations and less costly artwork.

The Centre approved three proposed Phase-IV corridors — Janakpuri West to RK Ashram Marg, Aerocity to Tughlaqabad and Maujpur to Mukundpur — last month. The total cost of the project is Rs 46,845 crore and the estimated cost of the three approved ones is Rs 24,948 crore.

“While approving the project, the Centre has asked to reduce the cost by at least 10% to 15% by optimising resources. We now have to think of new ways to reduce costs,” said a DMRC official.

DMRC spends a large part of its fund on acquiring land and is thinking of acquiring minimum possible plot for Ph-IV stations. This will result in smaller and compact stations, where many utilities and services could be packed inside smaller space compared with an average Ph-III stations.

DMRC has achieved such feats at Ashram, where it faced an acute shortage of land. The height of stations might also be kept lower to save on construction cost.

“The budget for furnishing and artwork at Phase-IV stations will be considerably less than Phase-III. While we don’t really splurge on artwork, for Phase-IV it will be reduced further,” the official said, adding that the challenge would be in making the stations aesthetically appealing on a tight budget.

The official said optimisation of resources would be a guiding philosophy while working on Phase-IV without compromising on safety of structures or passenger comfort.

“For Phase-IV, we are contemplating taking trains on lease instead of buying them outright. This way we will not have to incur capital expenditure upfront and just pay rental charges on an hourly availability of train sets,” he said.

DMRC might also outsource the work of train operators instead of recruiting personnel. “Also, we are planning to outsource the installation and operation of elevators and escalators. This way, we will just pay an amount for the operation of escalators and elevators and save money on buying and maintaining them,” he said. The installation and operation of fare collection system is likely to be outsourced too.

The Centre had approved the Delhi-Meerut RRTS project overriding the concerns flagged by Delhi government over investment share in the corridor. Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri had said that they could not hold back the development works because of Delhi government’s objections and reservations.