The increased usage of private transport in mega cities seriously affects the quality of life, mainly due to increased vehicular pollution and the toll it takes on human health. An ecologically sustainable transport system with a mix of alternate modes of transport that use alternatives to fossil fuels could be the answer.
The Delhi metro success story has been a remarkable exception in India, where delays in infrastructure projects are often the norm and plagued by cost overruns.
Adopting public transport, including the metro rail, has significantly reduced atmospheric pollution levels in Delhi, helping its inhabitants breathe easily.
The other benefits of the Delhi Metro include cutting down on long commuting times, reducing accidents, traffic congestion, and savings in fuel.
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At the dawn of the 21st century, the tunnels and pillars by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) were the most common sight on the roads. This flurry of activity was to create a utility that would transport the Indian capital from the chaotic nightmare whose roads were choked with private cars and unruly bus drivers to a more liveable city.
When the DMRC commenced operating the Delhi Metro way back in 2002, merely a few thousand riders would use the service. Cut to 2008, and its patronage increased to 7 lakh people a day!
By 2019, 215,000 were using the metro each month for their commutes. This translates into nearly 26 million people in 2019. This astounding figure is a testimony to the Delhi metro success story.
The metro service is very much a boon for the residents of Delhi and the wider NCR region. The cities of the NCR covered include Delhi, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Gurugram, and Noida. The total distance covered by the Delhi Metro stands at 390 Kilometres enabling 18 million people to commute effortlessly.
The DMRC resolved last-mile connectivity hiccups in 2018-19 by introducing feeder buses that operate electric buses from the nearby residential areas to the stations.
As more people gravitate towards the Delhi Metro, it has helped make the DMRC financially viable. The DMRC also earns substantial revenue through advertising.
Currently, the extension works of Phase 4 of the Delhi Metro are underway, with five metro rail coach manufacturing companies bidding for the supply of coaches.
- Alstom Transport India Ltd.
- BEML Ltd.
- CAF India Pvt. Ltd.
- JSC Metrowagonmash
- Titagarh Wagons Ltd.
In July 2021, the Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award was bestowed upon the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) by the Japan Society of Civil Engineers. The Japan Society of Civil Engineers labeled the Delhi Metro a High-Quality Infrastructure Development Project.
In the past, other recipients of the high-profile award have been the Japanese Shinkansen or bullet train operated by the national Japan Railways Group and Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit, which has been rated among the world’s best driverless metro systems and is operated by Singapore’s Land Transport Authority. This only goes to show us that the Delhi metro’s success story is noteworthy and stands as an example for future projects out there.