Vajpayee Inaugurates Delhiites Ride Into The Future In Dream Metro

New Delhi, December 24: | Updated: Dec 25 2002, 05:30am hrs
The Capital has taken a stride into the future with the inauguration of the state-of-the-art Delhi Metro by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee amid much fanfare.

The Prime Minister, deputy prime minister LK Advani, urban development minister Ananth Kumar, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, Lt governor Vijai Kapoor, minister of state for urban development O Rajgopal, along with a host of VIPs, travelled in the first Metro train on the 8.3-km long Shahdara-Tis Hazari section.

ISO Certification

After the New York Metro, the Delhi Metro has become the second in the world to be awarded the ISO 14001 certification for environment-friendly construction and operations. UNI

Delhi has now become the second city after Kolkata to have a metro system. The Delhi Metro is much more advanced than its Kolkata counterpart and would be completed in four phases to cover 240-km by 2020, of which 62.5 km would be completed in the first phase by 2005.

Delhiites, who dread travelling on city roads, choked due to high vehicle density, would heave a sigh of relief with the commercial operation of the mass rapid transport system , starting from tomorrow, which would change the face of the city..

It would give people a safe, fast and pollution-free travel in the convenience of air-conditioned coaches.

The historic event, that marks a new era in the urban transport sector of the capital, has been made possible by a group of dedicated officials and staff of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) led by managing director E Sreedharan.

The project, which was cleared in 1996 with work starting in October 1998, has been financed to the tune of 56 per cent by the Japanese government through soft loan. The Centre and Delhi government have an equity of 15 per cent each in the project with both of them trying to take claim for implementing the project. UNI However, this had led to many controversies, the latest being the appointment of Delhi BJP president Madan Lal Khurana for the post of DMRC chairman.

The Prime Minister and his colleagues purchased smart cards for travelling in the air-conditioned train, consisting of four coaches imported from South Korea. Sixty such trains would be imported and later 180 such trains would be manufactured in the country with increased indigenisation.

The metro trains, which would incorporate the latest available technical features of international standard, would run from 0600 hrs to 2200 hrs everyday. Initially, four trains of total capacity of more than 1,500 passengers each would travel at an interval of 8 minutes each, which would be reduced to three minutes later on. Depending on the passenger density that is expected to reach 22 lakh passenger trips per day by the end of the first phase, the number of trains and coaches would be increased.

The trains would run at an average speed of 32 to 35 km/hr over an average distance of 1.1 to 1.3 km. They could achieve the speed of 40 km/hr in just 15 seconds and a maximum speed of 80 km/hr in 65 seconds. With emergency braking rate of 1.3 M/Sec/ sec, the trains could be brought to a standstill in 17 seconds with a braking distance of 190 meter.

The first phase of the project, consisting of three lines Sahdara to Barwala, central secretariat to Delhi University and Barakambha Road to Dwarka, would be completed by September 2005.