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Updated: January 22, 2013 00:51 IST

Metro to chug on French rails

Special Correspondent
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Consignment from Tata Steel (Corus), France, expected to reach the city from Mumbai port by next month end

The first batch of steel rails for the elevated metro rail sourced from Tata Steel (Corus), France, is expected to reach the city from the Mumbai port by next month end.

The consignment will be starting from the steel firm on Republic Day (January 26) and it will take four weeks to reach the Indian port, said Hyderabad Metro Rail Managing Director N.V.S. Reddy and L&T Metro Rail Managing Director V.B. Gadgil.

“These head hardened rails are 10 per cent more expensive than the traditional rails. The ultra wear-resistant rails can cut maintenance costs and are ideal for urban commuting where the trains are likely to run from 5 a.m. to midnight continuously,” they said, during a media interaction.

The contract with Tata Steel is worth Rs. 180 crore and the maiden consignment will be stocked at the Uppal yard. The first section where the rails are to be laid will be between Nagole and Mettuguda, an eight kilometre stretch, where the viaduct construction is currently on.

Foundation and piers work is on at two other locations including the Miyapur-S.R. Nagar, L.B. Nagar-MGBS stretch while barricading is being done at Begumpet. Another construction front is set to be opened between Hi-Tec City and Jubilee Hills with barricades soon.

“Ninety-nine per cent of the contracts are complete. The remaining contract for the Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) and another for the escalators/elevators will be signed next month,” they stated. Present status is that 483 foundations, 351 piers and 1,307 segments are ready with 10 segments being made each day at the Uppal casting yard.

“We have chosen the best vendors in the world and are aware of the challenges ahead. Lot of design engineering has happened in the background whether in piers or stations designs. We believe in engineering combined with architecture for better aesthetics. For instance, our stations will be built on a single pier,” said Mr. Gadgil. “Last year was a glorious year with the works commencing. This is going to be a landmark project among infrastructure works,” exclaimed Mr. Reddy.

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