‘It will also cut down on fuel consumption’
The Delhi Metro carries 22 lakh people per day which is equivalent to one lakh vehicles being taken off the capital city’s roads, the Principal Advisor of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) E. Sreedharan has said.
Thus, Delhiites use 1 lakh tonnes less of fossil fuels each year, which has subsequently reduced pollution in the capital city. Road accidents too fell, with the metro helping save an average of 190 lives per year, he said.
It is also making operational profits, helping pay back a soft loan, while meeting the cost of maintenance, he said. “We are also able to set apart funds for future expansion. It is thus not just a financial success, but also is of tremendous help to society. The other metros in the world are dependant on government subsidy,” Mr. Sreedharan said, while speaking at a panel discussion on ‘Business and Sustainability – principle versus reality’, organised here on Monday by the Rajagiri Centre for Business Studies.
Low ticket fare
He spoke of how the Delhi Metro has the lowest ticket fare among all metros in the world, except that of the Kolkata Metro. “I was under severe pressure to raise the fare, but I stood my ground since the metro must be affordable to ordinary citizens. Put in short, the metro was a technical marvel and a roaring financial success,” he said.
Phase one of the metro was completed over two years ahead of schedule by the DMRC, while phase two was readied in record time six months before the deadline, Mr. Sreedharan said.
He reiterated the role of values and ethics for a business to be successful and sustainable. Fr Jose Alex of Rajagiri said that sustainability must be at the core of development. Efficiency and equity too are important.
“The erosion of values has led to the prevalence of corruption and corporate fraud,” he said.
Moderator V. A. George called for reliance on sustainable energy and alternative modes of transport to bring down pollution levels. The others who spoke include Babu Abraham, the head of HR and Administration of Philips Carbon Black Ltd and Vinu Verghese of Idea Celluar.