Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is planning to establish the National Metro Rail Knowledge Centre (NMRKC) to showcase the growth and development of Metro railways in India and to act as a hub of knowledge about state-of-the-art urban train technology.
The two-storey centre will come up near the Vishwavidyalaya Metro station in north Delhi. “The objective of this knowledge centre is to showcase the evolution of the Metro rail in India as part of the celebrations for the 75th year of independence in 2022. This work is planned to be executed in public-private partnership mode,” a DMRC official said on Wednesday, 23rd June 2021.
The likely cost of around Rs 46.4 crore to be incurred on civil, electrical, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, including finishing and architectural works, will be borne by a concessionaire, the official said. “In addition, around Rs 15 crore will be incurred for developing exhibits, display, etc., which shall be borne by DMRC,” he added.
The official said the concessionaire would develop a total of 5,800 square metres and the work is expected to be completed in fifteen months. DMRC had earlier published an expression of interest to solicit and examine the response of the private parties, corporate houses, NGOs, PSUs, trusts, among others, to associate with the train company in the establishment of the knowledge centre.
The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, however, resulted in some setbacks for the project. DMRC believes that such a centre will not only help in communicating to the public the immense challenges involved in constructing and operating a Metro rail system, but also help in archiving materials about Metro construction in India.
The centre will have provisions for audio visual screening of films and documentaries and research work with the help of books and archival publications.
The NMRKC building will come up on a plot near the Vishwavidyalaya Metro station and will have six levels, including two basements and two terraces, with one of the latter housing a restaurant. The construction will be undertaken by the concessionaire under DMRC’s specifications.
Apart from the 5,800 sq m for the knowledge centre, there will be additional space adding up to 7,680 sq m for commercial use. The concessionaire will construct the NMRKC building and hand over its operation to DMRC. The total parking space spread across two basements and the ground level will approximately be 6,160 sq m. A resource centre with a library containing research work and archival publications related to the Metro system will be opened for visitors, along with facilities like a reading room and a conference room.
Apart from a hub of knowledge, the centre also promises to become a tourist attraction in its own right. The centre will have a museum spread across two floors, which, among other exhibits like different train models and other displays, will also feature an actual Metro train coach on display. The centre will also feature a Metro simulator, a selfie zone and souvenir shops.
The entry to the museum will require e-tickets but there will be a public plaza that would be open to all. Apart from the terrace restaurant, there will be another café in the centre.