Metro Rail in India is one of the industries that is gaining more and more traction as there is an increase in commuters inclining towards a dependable mode of public transport. With the Union Budget for this year revealing a plethora of opportunities for the Metro Rail Industry, the expectations, demands and challenges to keep up with are at a peak.
Given the excitement around the development plans for Metro Rail construction in India, I wanted to get involved and gain some insights from industry experts on how digitization could transform the metro industry as we know it.
It is pretty obvious that the National Rail Plan has given the prospect of a future-ready railway system by the year 2030, but what are the aspects and elements that are on track with this proposition?
The webinar Creating Intelligent Metro with Digitization by Schneider Electric addresses the different facets of the future of Indian Metro Rail, imploring and assessing different routes in which the industry could attain improved performance.
The whole webinar, filled with informational facts and insightful revelations gave an idea that the vast scale of these development plans that aim to provide a sophisticated yet convenient transit system to millions of people in the country. This calls for a comprehensive structure based on innovation, improvements in design and resiliency.
The Need For Digitization:
From the beginning stages of the session, it was clear that Digitization is becoming a part of our lives at a much faster pace than ever before. The pandemic has affirmed digital integration in every aspect of our lives, it is essential to embrace the advantages of digitization now more than ever.
From the experts’ point of view, in Metro Rail, leveraging the data insights and solutions that already exist to enhance automation and ensure safety & sustainability is essential. It is also clear that this will be supported by digital transformation.
In a country like India, where every city is faced with a different scale of challenges, it is important to employ customizable and flexible solutions. For instance, in the city of Kanpur, the Metro Rail operations and management is not single-layered. One of the focal aspects as Mr Kumar Keshav, Managing Director of Uttrakhand Metro Rail Corporation points out is implementing solutions that are upgradable and interoperable to improve efficiency in metro. Monitoring, operating systems, solving conflicts and accessing the systems easily, are pain points that can be addressed with digitization.
Adapting and Implementing Digitization:
Avoiding traffic congestions is a big talk point in the Indian Metro Rail System. Knowing that I along with the millions of people who will be accessing, working and constructing this project will have the concern of how traffic congestions will be addressed and tackled, the webinar provided intelligent and precise answers on this front.
Incorporating solutions that can digitize processes, collect data and adapt accordingly are essential to address this challenge. While collecting these data is the first step, implementing the collected insights with perfect execution is essential. In this concern, Digitization allows for information and data to be disseminated and saved across all systems. This further elevates the cause of achieving cost-effectiveness in a short period.
To achieve maximized efficiency, a common platform for communication is necessary. As Mr Mahendra Kumar, Director of E&RS in National Capital Region Transport Corporation notes, the platform or database should include all the relevant stakeholders. The existing platform used in most Indian Metro systems is a simple yet holistic platform.
The Digital Future of Metro Rail:
According to the industry leaders, so far Digitization has been fully adapted and used in the operations sector of the metro rail industry. However, with the rapid rate at which the development plans are made to extend the industry, digitization can be applied to many other facets to increase efficiency to the next level. For instance digitization in the construction phase can prove helpful in monitoring, managing and overlooking the ongoing projects.
Digitization in the metro can pave the way for creating an efficient, reliable and flexible transport system that meets growing passenger traffic demands. Creating Intelligent Metro is the path for such a large scale development plan that can serve millions of people. Moreover, industry leaders’ insights prove that there are incredible opportunities by employing intelligent solutions to India’s Metro Rail.
Having gained a substantial amount of knowledge on how digitization can improve livelihoods across the country, it was truly an inspirational experience. Interacting with the professionals helped in understanding the role digitization has to play in creating intelligent, safe, sustainable and reliable metro rails in India.