Isfahan Subway Moves On

Isfahan Subway Moves On
Isfahan Subway Moves On

I sfahan Governor Rasoul Zargarpour, pointing to the resumption of work on the two subway stations of Enqelab and Imam Hussein squares in the city, said with the completion of the project by the end of May 2017, the Isfahan Metro Line 1 will become fully operational.

At present, the 12-km Line 1 which opened in October 2015 has 10 stations. With the completion of the additional two stations, the line will connect the northern part of the city to the southern areas, totally running a length of 20 km.

Isfahan subway expansion is indeed one of the most complicated construction projects in the country, “as the numerous historical sites across the city have to be preserved during the underground excavation of the subway lines,” IRNA quoted Zargarpour as saying.

The preliminary planning of Line 1 was undertaken in 1996 and the plan was approved by the Majlis (parliament) in 2000.

“The subway line will help address the growing traffic problems in the provincial capital,” he said. The metropolis requires 100 km of metro lines, of which 60 km has been approved by the National Traffic Supreme Council. “We are making every effort to expand the subway network.”

In the past few years, construction of the Enqelab and Imam Hussein junctions was suspended because of lack of consensus between the Isfahan Urban and Suburban Railway Organization and the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) since “the subway line passes under the historical Chahar Bagh Street and monuments in its vicinity.”

“Over the past two years investigations were carried out by a five-member commission and the issues were addressed. In case any problems arise during the project work, the commission is responsible to fix them.”

The commission members include representatives of the Isfahan governor and the ICHHTO, as well as officials from Isfahan Municipality.

Meanwhile, plans on the construction of Metro Line 2 commenced 4 years ago. The line will connect the western part of Isfahan to its eastern part. Its total length is set at 23 km with 22 stations. It will have a junction at Imam Hossein Square Station on Line 1.

Metro Line 2 construction started in October 2015, simultaneous with the opening ceremony of Line 1 which was attended by Mohammad Javad Zarif, the foreign minister.

 UNESCO Approval Essential

Originally, as Line 2 was set to pass under the famous Naqsh-e-Jahan Square, it had raised several objections. The cultural heritage deputy at ICHHTO, Mohammad Hassan Talebiyan, had stated that safeguarding Naqsh-e-Jahan can’t be overemphasized. “Isfahan Metro Company must prepare a report to the UNESCO for review of the route. Without UNESCO approval all construction operations will cease.”

Following this, officials of ICHHTO and the Isfahan Metro Company reached an agreement recently to change the route of Line 2.

Zargarpor said due to implementation of the metro project traffic restrictions were imposed but would be lifted by the end of the year and before the annual Nowruz holiday season begins (March 19).

Isfahan, the capital of Isfahan Province is located 340 km south of Tehran and is a world famous tourist destination. In the 2011 census, the city had a population of 1.7 million while the Greater Isfahan Region had a population of 3.7 million. It is the third most populous metropolitan area in Iran after Tehran and Mashhad. The counties of Isfahan, Borkhar, Najafabad, Khomeynishahr, Shahinshahr, Mobarakeh, Falavarjan, Tiran o Karvan and Lenjan all constitute Isfahan Province.