IWD 2022: Exclusive interview with Mrs. Chhavi Bhardwaj, MD, MP Metro Rail Corporation

Vinod Shah Posted on: 2022-03-08 11:55:00 Viewer: 1,980 Comments: 0 Country: India City: Bhopal

IWD 2022: Exclusive interview with Mrs. Chhavi Bhardwaj, MD, MP Metro Rail Corporation

Mrs. Chhavi Bhardwaj is an IAS (Indian Administrative Services) Officer and currently working in the capacity of Managing Director of Madhya Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MPMRCL) - a special purpose vehicle (SPV) formed for implementing metro rail projects in Bhopal and Indore cities.

In a recent conversation with Metro Rail Today, she talked on her priorities and committed to speed-up the metro rail works in Bhopal & Indore cities.

Please tell our readers about your professional journey. What are your roles & responsibilities as the Managing Director of Madhya Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MPMRCL)?

I belong to the 2008 batch of IAS, Madhya Pradesh cadre. I started my journey as an Assitant Collector in Gwalior. I have also worked as a collector for the first time in the Dindori district of Madhya Pradesh. In 2016, I was appointed as a Municipal Commissioner in Bhopal. Before joining my present assignment, I was working as Managing Director in the National Health Mission, Government of India.

As managing director of Madhya Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation Limited, my responsibilities are to make decisions as a functional director of the board, ensure minimal inconvenience to the public and commuters during the construction phase and actively support the state urban transport authorities in working and many more.

You are currently leading two major urban infra projects i.e. Bhopal Metro and Indore Metro in Madhya Pradesh. What are on your priorities list? Are you setting new deadlines for these ongoing projects? 

MPMRCL is committed to providing state-of-art,  integrated and efficient urban transport systems to the urban centers in Madhya Pradesh. As the first steps to this end, we are fast-pacing the rollout of the sanctioned corridors in Indore and Bhopal, both of which I firmly believe will spur transit-oriented development and provide comprehensive multimodal mobility options to the citizens of the two cities. We are committed to citizen-centric, environment friendly and efficient design that serves the cause of inter-generational equity.

Priority is to give impetus and thrust in order to meet the expectation of the citizens by earliest possible stage-wise commissioning of the sections to ease out the transportation hassles in the cities and provide world-class facilities in a time-bound manner.

We have set a target for flagging off the first set of trains at the priority corridors for both metros by 2023.

What is the current status of the project work of Bhopal and Indore Metro? When can people expect their first journey on Bhopal and Indore Metro corridors?   

In the Bhopal Priority Corridor stretch from Subhash Nagar to AIIMS (7.0 KM, 8 stations) the civil infrastructure works are progressing satisfactorily. The viaduct works have been completed to the tune of more than 75%. The station works have been commenced and will be progressed on the fast track by innovative engineering of mostly pre-cast members which will ensure both quality and faster construction while causing lesser inconvenience to the public at large.

Similarly for Indore as well the Priority Corridor’s (17.5 KM from Gandhi Nagar to Radisson Square with 16 Stations) civil infrastructure works are now well under progress. Both, the already-in-progress viaduct works and recently awarded station and viaduct works are being given focus for giving the earliest possible access to the designated contractors to put the system in place for the Corridor’s commissioning and operations.

As I told you before, to meet the expectation of the citizens we aim to commission the Priority Corridors by August 23. The entire project team is now working tirelessly to achieve the aim.

Are you facing any challenges while dealing with contractors, general consultants, and other stakeholders?

There are routine challenges that are encountered in any large-scale multi-disciplinary public Project being executed within the city limits and thickly populated area.

You had served Jabalpur as the first woman District Collector of the city. Do you feel that Jabalpur needs metro rail systems to resolve the city's public transportation issues?

Metro Rail Project for Jabalpur is in proposal state.

Metro Rail Projects are high on investment and sustainability is required to be examined.

The appraisal is to be based on numerous multiple factors e.g. city’s spread, alternate transport analysis, threshold population, environmental and social factors, economic and cost-benefit analysis to name a few. A study will be required towards this end.

What is your feedback on the quality of content served by Metro Rail Today and Urban Transport News? Any suggestions.

Urban Transport News and Metro Rail Today are collective and informative magazines. I believe it is a very good initiative that will enable any metro organization to understand what is happening in the country or in different cities. What different mechanisms are being tested, how innovative they are. I believe peer learning is very crucial and a lot of times when we through articles in magazines like Metro Rail Today, we get a lot of ideas and inspiration from the stories of other metro corporations. New options get explored every now and it also keeps you aware.


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