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Published by sangeetaangel

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Published by: sangeetaangel on Sep 10, 2009
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The concept of a metro for Delhi was first formalized in the Delhi Master Plan of 1960, and the legal framework for the metro was laid out in theMetro Railways (Construction of Works) Act of 1978.Actual work towards building the metro, however, only started in March 5,1995, when the DMRC was established to provide a rail-based transportsystem that will alleviate Delhi’s ever growing transport congestion andvehicular pollution. The government of Japan has contributed more than half the cost of this project, through a soft loan disbursed by DMRC’s major funding agency, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).Delhi’s metro rail system, to be constructed in four phases covering245 kilometers, is scheduled to be finished in 2021. Today three functioninglines connect central Delhi to east, north, and southwest Delhi.DMRC is responsible not only for construction of the system butalso for its operation and maintenance. It has 450 personnel in itsconstruction department and 3,000 staff for system operation andmaintenance.Physical construction work started on October 1, 1998 Aside from one major disagreement in 2000, where the Ministry of Railways forced the system touse broad gauge despite the DMRC's preference for standard gauge,construction proceeded smoothly. The first line opened on December 24,2002and the entire Phase I of the project was completed in December 2005,on budget and almost three years ahead of schedule, an achievementdescribed as "nothing short of a miracle".
As cities grow in size, the number of vehicular trips on road system goes up.This necessitates a pragmatic policy shift to discourage private modes andencourage public transport once the level of traffic along any travel corridor in one direction exceeds 20,000 persons per hour.Introduction of a rail based (MRTS) Mass Rapid Transit System is called for.Mass Rapid Transit Systems are capital intensive and have long gestation period. It has been observed that in developed countries, planning for masstransit system starts when city population size exceeds 1 million; the systemis in position by the time the city population is 2 to 3 million and once the population exceeds 4 million or so, planned extensions to the Mass RapidTransit Systems is vigorously taken up. In developing countries includingIndia, because of paucity of funds planning and implementation of rail basedMass Rapid Transit Systems has been lagging far behind the requirements.The city of Delhi with a population of round 12 (16.2) million should havehad an MRTS network of at least 100 (300) KM by this time, whereasactually it is still (65.10 kms) at the take-off stage. Delhi has all the idealdress-up for an excellent Mass Rapid Transit System to be brought in. It haswide roads (roads cover 23% of the city area) where road possession for construction is not difficult (except in the old city area). Implementation willalso not involve demolition of large scale private properties. Most of theland required is under Government control and hence can be easily acquired.The citizens are enlightened and would eagerly welcome introduction of  people friendly MRTS though they may initially face some difficultiesduring the implementation phase. Added to this Delhi has an unassailableadvantage in its excellent railway network comprising two rings and sixspurs totaling about 120 KM within the urban area.Unfortunately, these Rail assets are not presently fully being utilized as itsshare of commuter traffic is only a mere 2%. Delhi has experienced phenomenal growth in population in the last fewdecades. Its population has increased from 57 lakhs in 1981 to 120 (162)
lakhs in 1998 (2006) and is poised to reach 132 (190) lakhs by the year 2001(2011). For want of an efficient mass transport system, the number of motor vehicles has increased from 5.4 lakhs in 1981 to 30 (51) lakhs in 1998(2007) and is (increasing at the rate of 6.21 per annum). The number of motor vehicles in Delhi is now more than that of Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai put together. The result is extreme congestion on Delhi roads, ever slowingspeeds, increase in road accidents fuel wastage and environmental pollutionwith motorized vehicles alone contributing to about two thirds of theatmospheric pollution.Today the traffic on roads of Delhi is a heterogeneous mix of cycles scooters buses cars and rickshaws jostling with each other. This has resulted in achaotic situation so much so that due to road accidents, the average number of persons killed per day has increased to 5 and of those injured to 13. The position is expected to deteriorate further in the years to come.To rectify this situation the Government of India and the Government of  National Capital Territory of Delhi, in equal partnership have set up acompany named Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. under the CompaniesAct,1956 which has (already commissioned a 65.10 kms route in Phase-Iand is proceeding ahead with another 121 kms in Phase –II). 

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