Metro hurtles past hurdles aplenty
DMRC rolls out eight-coach trains on completing 10 years in city
From installing top-up machines for smart cards to introducing six and eight coach trains, Delhi Metro referred to as the city’s “lifeline” has made travel easier for most of the population.
With glitches here and there, DMRC has managed to bring out some positive changes to the city’s landscape. Metro introduced its first eight coach metro on Monday with more to be introduced in the coming months.
However, the biggest setback was the shutting down of the ambitious airport express line. It has remained suspended from July 8 following structural faults. The fate of the high-speed train run by Reliance Infrastructure is still hanging in the middle with the centre announcing a fresh deadline of resuming operations by December end or early January.
Metro stations became favourites spots for committing suicide after which officials† decided to raise the height of railings at elevated stations, but there hasn’t been much progress. Delay in inducting Metro feeder buses is another issue. Though the tender for the non air-conditioned feeder buses was issued in October last year, the process of procurement is still going.
They are not expected to hit the roads till mid-2013 when they were supposed to be inducted by July this year.
Delhi Metro, which opened to the public on 25 December 2002, has completes 10 years of service on Tuesday. Phase 1 which covered 65 kms was completed in 7.3 years and another 125 kms was added in less than five years under phase 2. With work beginning for phase 3, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation plans to complete its 140 kms project by 2016.
Glitches lead to delay
Slow pace of land acquisition for proposed Metro stations and delay in getting a green signal from National Monuments Authority for the construction on the Central Secretariat-Kashmere Gate Corridor for the heritage line are some of the major issues leading to delay in beginning proper work under Phase 3.
Permission from the government for chopping 12,000 trees is also awaited. “Civil work is in progress between Moti Bagh and Delhi Cantt, Mukundpur and Azadpur areas. Initial work on the Naraina stretch has also begun on the Mukundpur-Shiv Vihar corridor,” said a DMRC official.
On the Janakpuri West-Botanical Garden corridor, initial work has been initiated on the Kalkaji-Kalindi Kunj route.
Since permission from NMA is awaited for the heritage corridor on preparatory work has started at the Kashmere Gate Metro station. Work has begun on the entire stretch of the Jahangirprui-Badli and Badarpur-YMCA Chowk corridors.
For the Dwarka-Bahadurgarh stretch not much work has been initiated as officials are still at the stage of finalising the alignment and preparation of tender documents.
“We are optimistic about completing the phase 3 project by 2016 which will be another milestone,” added the official.
A baby named Maitri was born in July inside the Metro while her mother was on her way to hospital.
DMRC has also introduced “more cards” this year which will link travellers to various other forms of transport. DMRC has been certified by the UN as the first Metro rail system in the world to get carbon credits for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing pollution levels in the capital by 6,30,000 tonnes every year.
The average footfall is 20 lakh with yellow line (HUDA City-Jahangirpuri) registering nearly 5.5 lakh commuters daily and blue line (Noida-Dwarka) registering about 6.5 lakh on a daily basis.
Airport line shutdown a major setback
Complete shutdown of the Airport Express line was a major setback for the Delhi Metro, reports DHNS. This 22.7 kms corridor, which is India's first public private partnership project, was temporarily shut on July 8 after the Reliance Infrastructure-led consortium found some defects on the civil structure and brought them to the notice of the Delhi Metro.
The urban development ministry had set up a committee comprising officials from the Indian Railways, Delhi Metro and Reliance Infrastructure to look into the nature of the defects.
Since then repair has been going on and was completed last month.
†The deadline for resuming services of this Rs 5,700 crore line has been extended since October but is still hanging in the middle.
In the light of the extensive repair work carried out, a fresh safety inspection by the Commissioner for Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) was sought.
DMRC is hopeful that services will resume by January next year.