Nagpur Zero Mile, the geographical heart of India, gears up for a facelift

The design selected for the Zero Mile metro station

Museum, metro station designed by French architects on the anvil

Mumbai, September 4

The geographic heart of India — the zero mile marker in Nagpur — will soon get an overhaul. The Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (NMRCL) not only wants to redefine the whole area around the heritage structure but also build a metro station in the vicinity.

Brijesh Dixit, Managing Director of NMRCL, told BusinessLine that the area around the marker would be given a facelift while the heritage value will be maintained. The metro station is to be called Zero Mile for which an iconic building designed by French architects will be built.

A museum dedicated to the science of surveying would also be built in the area, which will capture the importance of the marker and the Great Trigonometric Survey, he said.

Historical significance

Since Nagpur city is located at the geographical centre of the country, the zero mile marker is located there. The distances to various destinations across the country are measured from the marker. The marker site was identified in the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India, undertaken by the East India Company and the British Administration.

The Survey began in 1802 and was completed in 1871. It demarcated the boundaries of British India and the measurement of the height of the Himalayan peaks such as Everest, K2 and Kanchenjunga.

Dixit said that there are a couple of Maratha Empire era monuments near the marker, and they will also be spruced up.

“The whole idea is to create additional ridership for the metro during the weekends. Residents and tourists will be able to see the monument, museum and enjoy the great historical ambience,” he said.

Metro funding

Giving an update on the ₹8,600-crore Nagpur metro project, Dixit said that KFW Bank of Germany, which is a multilateral funding agency, has already sanctioned €500 million for the project and an additional €130 million is being raised from ADF Bank of France, which is expected to be sanctioned by the middle of September, after which the whole project would achieve financial closure, he said.

He added that 82 per cent of the project land is in the possession of NMRCL and the rest is in the process of being acquired.

The project has received the right of way across the city for the 40 km elevated metro system. By mid-2017, pilot tests for some sections will commence and by 2018 the line will be commercially operational.

Executive Director of Nagpur Metro Ramnath Subramaniam told BusinessLine that the total cost of the Zero Mile station, survey museum and heritage walk would be about ₹80 crore. The actual costs for the project is still being worked out, he said.

Published on September 04, 2016

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