Sreedharan 'disappointed' with Airport Line frequency

Sreedharan, who inspected the stations and the trains on the corridor for over two hours in the morning, stressed the need for increasing the frequency on the Line that connects the city’s shopping hub of Connaught Place with the Indira Gandhi International Airport for the convenience of fliers and other commuters.

The Delhi Metro chief, who inspected the Airport Line for the first time after its inauguration last month, boarded the train at New Delhi Station and travelled up to the terminating station of Dwarka Sec-21 and pointed out several things like less frequency, lack of proper signage and announcements, DMRC spokesman Anuj Dayal said.

In its response, the Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Limited, the Reliance Infra-led consortium that runs the corridor, said it will increase the train frequency from the current 20 minutes once the traffic on the line picks up.

The Airport Express Line, which takes passengers from CP to IGI in just 18 minutes, was thrown open to the public on February 23 and since then only a little more than 7,000 people have been using the line everyday.

"He got down at all the operational stations on the corridor and personally inspected the amenities available for the commuters till 11 AM," Dayal said.

Out of the total six stations, only four – New Delhi, Shivaji Stadium, IGI Airport and Dwarka Sec-21 are now operational.

Two other stations – Dhaula Kuan and Delhi Aero City -- are likely to be made operational next month.

Dayal said the DMRC chief "was disappointed with the present frequency of 20 minutes". Currently, six trains on the corridor run at a frequency of 20 minutes from 6 AM to 10 PM.
The DMRC chief also wanted the maximum speed of the train to be increased to the promised speed of 120 km per hour as trains currently run only at 105 km per hour.

For this, the concessionaire’s response is that the application for increasing the speed is already with the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) and his nod is awaited.
"Once approved by the CMRS, RDSO will conduct the speed trial at 120 km per hour", a spokesperson of the company said.

Dayal said "Sreedharan expressed his dissatisfaction about the passenger amenities including the lack of tea/ coffee vending machines that are yet to be provided at the stations.

He said the stations must have refreshment kiosks for the convenience of the commuters.

However, the DAMEPL says all these things will be taken care of when the retail outlets are open.

Sreedharan also pointed to the fact that there is no mobile connectivity in the underground sections which causes severe inconvenience to commuters and wanted these to be rectified.

Dayal said the DMRC chief also pointed out that the lack of proper signage was causing inconvenience to the commuters and noticed that the announcements made inside the trains and at the stations were not adequate and were not giving the correct information on some occasions.

He also said there should be seamless platform to platform connectivity for the commuters coming from the Delhi Metro network to the Airport link and vice versa at the Dwarka Sector 21 Metro station.

DAMEPL said it has put sufficient signage and will look into the announcement problem.

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