As Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore build metro rail networks, they would find the Delhi experience encouraging. The Metro rail authority in the capital is confident that the overall benefits will lead to cost recovery quite early.

The rise in ridership of Delhi Metro is resulting in several environmental and social benefits to citizens of the national capital which will help recover the full cost of Phase-1 project of the DMRC by 2011, a study claimed today.

More commuters on the metro means saving of passenger time and fuel cost, reduction in operating cost and maintenance of vehicles, fewer accidents and lower expenses for road infrastructure, according to a study by the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI).

The report said the Economic Rate of Return (ERR) went up from 16.90 per cent to 19.98 in the last two years and because of it the full cost of Phase-1 will be recovered by 2011, two years earlier than anticipated by the CRRI.

If the social and economic benefits were quantified, then the value of accrued benefits of Phase 1 will become Rs. 10,801.64 crore by March 2012 while the cost of construction of Phase-1 was Rs. 10,571 crore, the report said.

This year alone, the Metro resulted in environmental and social benefits to the tune of 5,503.83 crore.

“For instance, the annual saving on account of reduced fuel consumption will be Rs. 180.89 crore in 2009, more than double from Rs. 73.22 crore two years ago,” DMRC Director (Works) Mangu Singh, who piloted the study, said here.

The annual vehicle (capital and operating) cost saving will almost triple from Rs. 93.21 crore in 2007 to Rs. 276.24 this year, the report said.

Due to increase in average speed of road vehicles, the annual cost saved by road passengers on account of the reduced travel time is around Rs. 240 crore this year, it said.