Rightly called as the lifeline of the National Capital Region (NCR), the Delhi Metro is an example of how an ideal urban mass transit system should operate. From expansion beyond Delhi, to providing assistance and leadership to other metro networks including Kochi, Bengaluru and Bangladesh, the Delhi Metro has come a long way, covering approximately 343 kms in 25 years, since it started operations.
Q: The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) completed 25 years of operations in May 2019. Could you please share some of the technological advancements that have made this success possible?
A: DMRC has always been at the forefront, when it comes to adopting advanced technologies. Since the beginning, the DMRC has brought in various new technologies to improve services. Some of them include the communication-based train control (CBTC) system, unmanned train operation, ticket vending machines, contact-less smart cards, platform screen doors, operation of metro trains with solar energy and advanced automatic fare collection (AFC) system.
Q: Last-mile connectivity has been an issue for commuters and even the DMRC has acknowledged this problem. What measures are being taken, to resolve this issue?
A: As part of our initiative to provide last-mile connectivity, the DMRC has been operating feeder bus services and e-rickshaws from various metro stations. Apart from the feeder buses, the DMRC also has a tie-up with app-based cab aggregators. With this facility, commuters can book cabs through the kiosks installed at selected stations. E-scooter sharing services, public bicycle sharing services and permanent bicycle stands at metro stations are also provided, to enhance last-mile connectivity.
Q: Which line would you rate as the most successful or busy line of the Delhi Metro? Does the DMRC have any plans to increase frequency on certain lines?
A: All lines of the DMRC are successful. However, in terms of the passenger movement, the Yellow Line, Blue Line and Red Line, are considered to be busier than others. Currently, adequate number of trains are being operated on all lines, as per the requirement. The frequency of trains on all lines is modified from time to time, based on passenger requirement.
Q: The DMRC has been the pioneer in metro expansion in the country. What is the knowledge sharing that the DMRC does, with metro rail authorities in other cities?
A: The DMRC has provided consultancy services to almost all the metro rail systems in India, as well as the Dhaka Metro in Bangladesh. The DMRC has a state-of-the-art training facility for its staff and employees, at the Training Institute located at Shastri Park. This Institute also trains officials of other metro rails in India, as well as those from countries like Indonesia and Bangladesh. The DMRC is also a member of international metro communalities, such as COMET and NOVA, where members facilitate knowledge sharing and exchange of best practices in the field. It is also a member of I-Metros, which is a forum for exchange of ideas, pooling of knowledge and sharing of experience, best practices, innovations, etc. Apart from this, DMRC organises various seminars and guided visits to its network for officials from different metro services of India.
Q: What effort is the DMRC is making, towards sustainability?
A: The DMRC is taking all possible measures, to reduce energy consumption and depend more on renewable sources. Delhi Metro is one of the first metros in the world, to intensely promote the use of solar energy. DMRC produces around 28 MW of solar energy, through its rooftop solar power plants, which is used for meeting the auxiliary requirements of metro stations. Recently, the DMRC also started drawing solar energy from Madhya Pradesh, for train operations. We have also set up effluent treatment plants (ETPs) and sewage treatment plants (STPs) at depots and residential colonies, so that the waste water generated from these locations, can be recycled and reused, as much as possible.