Staff Reporter

Five years after it all began, ‘we need to work with greater speed and efficiency’

NEW DELHI: Five years after it introduced the city to a brand new mode of transport that is fast, efficient, plush and economical, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has its sights set on reaching out to a far larger cross-section of people.

Unwilling to rest on its laurels, the DMRC says the focus right now is on meeting -- if not beating -- its own deadlines.


“We only have 65 km behind us, but we have 120 km ahead of us. We need to work with greater speed and efficiency to meet the deadlines of various sections,” said Anuj Dayal, Chief Public Relations Officer of DMRC.

The Shahadra-Dilshad Garden section will be the first to open to the public in December 2008, followed by the Indraprastha-Noida section in June 2009, Vishwavidyalaya-Jehangirpuri in October 2009, Yamuna Bank-Anand Vihar in December 2009, Dwarka Sector 9-Sector 21 in December 2009 and Keerti Nagar-Mundka in March 2010.

The Metro railway, which according to a Central Road Research Institute report has already saved about 476 lives in the past, says it is hopeful of providing a transport system that is passenger-friendly. “Considering that 6.5 lakh commuters take the Metro daily, we are looking at saving more than 400 lives a year. Facilities like toilets, subways for people to cross roads and several such facilities that had been overlooked in the first phase have been provided in the second phase.”

The DMRC also promises to make the rail travel safer and secure for passengers especially women. “There will be more monitoring and cameras will be installed in all coaches. All precautions will be taken to make the transport service safe,” Mr. Dayal said.

The service, which was first opened to the public on December 25, 2002, is looking at a daily footfall of about 1.2 million once the second phase gets operational.

The novelty factor -- about 12 lakh people descended to watch the Metro roll out on its first day five years ago -- may have worn off, but the mass transit system attracts an enviable number of people. “The Metro rail is recognised for its punctual and comfortable service. We have a punctuality record of 99.9 per cent. Also, taking the Metro saves 66 minutes per head of passenger time and about 40,000 vehicles more would have been added to the roads of Delhi if it has not been for the service,” said Mr. Dayal.

Urban planners, environmentalist and concerned citizens have been pressing the DMRC to abandon their plans of laying elevated corridors.