A newly constituted committee on standardisation of metro rail systems across the country, headed by ‘metro man’ E. Sreedharan, will submit its report within three months.
A press release from the government said that though standards have already been evolved for the design of metro coaches and signalling systems, there are numerous other areas for which indigenous standards need to be formulated. These include the layout of metro station, platforms, signage & displays, size of tunnels, fire protection systems, disaster management systems, environment-friendly and waste management systems, standards for solar panels at stations etc.
Using a set of standard templates across the country would help bring down costs since similar providers can be used by multiple metro systems, said a senior official in the ministry of housing and urban affairs on condition of anonymity. “There would also be a big scope to push for ‘make in India’ arrangements," the official added.
Currently, 490 km of metro lines are operational in 10 different cities in the country and more than 600 km of metro rail projects are under construction.
The release said that the central government budget outlay for metro rail projects is growing and is to increase to about Rs25,000 crore annually, apart from the investments envisaged by the state governments, private partners and local bodies.
Indigenous standards will ensure that manufacturers can plan for long-term investments since there is an expanding market for metro rail construction. The Sreedharan committee also includes officials from the railways, managing directors of metro rail corporation of various cities and one official from the urban affairs ministry.