A city in transit: extending (Gurgaon) by rail“It gives me a great sense of satisfaction when people talk about Rapid Metro Gurgaon and how it reduces the stress and time of getting around.” For many years, the satellite town of Gurgaon had no railway connection to link it up with the rest of Delhi. Amitabh Bhagwat, team lead for Mass Transit, made it his mission to successfully implement a new mode of transportation.
All the usual elements of rush hour still exist. Between the relentless streams of commuters, the pounding heels and collective sense of purpose in the air; thousands transfer between the Delhi Metro and the Rapid Metro Gurgaon on their way to Gurgaon, the Millennium City, on a daily basis.
However, about two years ago, this wasn’t the case at the Sikandarpur station in India’s national capital region. Like many other car-choked cities in India, the movement of goods and people was coming to a bottleneck slowing down the country’s future economic growth. This was compounded by the booming population growth that’s projected to add 200 million people to India’s urban areas by 2030, with a subsequent rise in car ownership.
A rapid expansion of India’s rail networks was sorely needed to ease up the jam.
Rethinking the future of mass transport
Amitabh’s involvement in the Rapid Metro Gurgaon project is part of a concerted effort to alleviate the overcrowding of cities. It’s an enormous task within India’s Smart Cities Mission.
“The most pressing issue for Indian society today is mobility. People spend hours travelling on the roads and a lot of productive time is lost during these travels”, says Amitabh. The rush to build more metros is a late one: a growing population translates to more cars on the roads, leading to massive traffic congestion.
He adds: “Having a metro network system will allow a safe, reliable and comfortable mode of transportation for people, thereby reducing the stress and hassle of getting around.”
Expanding Gurgaon’s networks
Rapid Metro Gurgaon operates in a six-kilometer loop, covering six locations in Gurgaon, with Cyber City being the most prominent one. It is a business district, home to the key offices of numerous information technology consultancies.
Amitabh and his dedicated colleagues helped put in place a suite of solutions for the Gurgaon line such as its lightweight Aluminum trains, third rail electrification, its signaling system and state-of-the-art rolling stock, along with major depot workshop equipment. This means that every hour, 30,000 passengers can enjoy a comfortable ride with 99.9% punctuality.
In addition, there are now walkways and skywalks that link buildings in Cyber City to the metro station. Life has certainly improved for commuters working in the area.
This eco-friendly solution has not only reduced travelling time and traffic congestion; it has also contributed in reducing air and noise pollution. This is the first of its kind in India, with a possibility to be replicated in other cities. The goal is to grant greater access to jobs, education, shopping and health services, and ultimately, boost the economy.
To play a key role in a project that offers commuters comfortable journeys while reducing their travel time – it is extremely satisfying.
Promoting a collaborative working environment
Although the cultural mix of the multinational team could have posed some challenges, it was the open working style of the project that led to its success. Amitabh’s team comprised of members from across the globe, including engineers from Germany and other Asian countries. There was a strong sense of collaboration across the different offices.
“What was key to the success of this project was the excellent interpersonal relations and mutual trust shown between each of the 45 members of a multicultural team who kept the common goal in front of us.”
Above all, Amitabh finds it meaningful to be part of a company that creates change. “We have demonstrated a new possibility in India, and we hope to take it even further”, he shares. Supporting infrastructural development in India through such projects truly resonates with the vision of transforming cities for the better through sustainable technology.
“Siemens is present in so many different divisions and technologies that it touches practically every facet of Indian society. We have solutions for everyone.”