Saturday, May 10, 2008

Why London wants Delhi Metro model replication in London?

The Delhi metro is one of the finest examples of engineering execution in post Independent India. The credibility of the firm -Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) - is in the fact that they completed this in record 3 years time while in developed countries it at least took 7 years on an average. With record breaking speed and full government support they have showcased a master piece in Indian context.

This is the interior of one of the stations...Very beautiful

This metro has underground, at-grade and elevated - all 3. By 2020, it's coverage area is going to overtake London Subway. Even London Mayor wants this to be replicated back home.

First I had a chance to travel inside it in 2004 and later when I used Subway in NYC and Washington D.C. Metro I never felt surprised. Unlike NYC Subway which runs 24 hours Delhi Metro has operations till 11:00 pm. This anyways is not a matter as this decision was taken after careful experimentation. Anytime the need arises it will be made round the clock.

This is what London Mayor said when he visited Metro

“This is exactly the model we would want for Crossrail – big and wide trains running on really smooth surfaces. This is what we will see in London when we open crossrail in 10 years. It is just so much comfortable. Londeners should travel to Delhi if they want a preview of what Crossrail would be like.” However he said it was unlikely such tight security could ever be introduced in London. Peter Hendy, accompanying Livingstone, denied it was embarrassing that experts from London had to travel to a Third World country to see a 21st-century public transport system in operation. He said: "One of the lessons is that when we are building a modern system we should build it for growth. The Victoria line was built very cheaply. If we look at the Victoria line stations, they're already full of people. "Look at the spaciousness of this. They have four-coach trains. It's built for a doubling to eight. Crossrail will be built not only to carry the load we expect it to have in 2017 but actually for future expansion."

Several universty students(John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and the Stanford Graduate School of Business,Darden School of Business, University of Virginia) and foreign ministers from Canada, US, Japan have visited Metro and travelled in it.

The fact that Discovery channel also dedicated an episode to this is indicative of the fact that we are able to develop such infrastructure at home. It is just it has be replicated across the country and state government must co-operate with it. It should not be like Bangalore case wherever there are too many hurdles. In fact Mumbai by June 2009 will see the first Phase of metro from Versova in the West to Ghatkopar in the East. As compared to Delhi, Mumbai will see an innovative way of ensuring A/c still runs at 50% efficiency even when there is power failure.

The only hurdles is the land acquisition which the State Govt must do quickly. In this Maharashtra seems to be better than Karnataka.

With clean stations, well maintained personnel and state of the art technology in place to purchase tickets, it is a world class by itself.

Other salient features of Delhi Metro:

1)No drinking, smoking allowed inside the station
2)Automated station announcements in Hindi and English
3) Automatic LED displays indicating the next station
4) Electronic glow of coming stations on the map put inside every coach on 2 sides.
5)Each coach can carry 400 passengers (In case of Mumbai it will be much more)
6) It is ventilated and air conditioned properly
7) There is closed circuit cameras everywhere and special METRO Police
8) Metro Marshals travel inside in the train in civilian dress like in airlines. This feature is found only in some Metro's in the world
9)Smart Cards, RFID Tokens and Travel Cards - 3 types of tickets

10) Vending machines to purchase tickets by cash and credit card
11) Several stations have restaurants, cafe's

12) Each station design is unique.
13) consist of four 3.2 metre wide stainless steel lightweight coaches

14) There are 3 lines - Yellow, Blue, Red (like in the US and elsewhere) and maps are put up everywhere - both in English and Hindi

15) Frequency is 3-4 minutes - Awesome!!! Like elsewhere
16) Elaborate parking spaces at every station
17) A dedicated website to know everything -timings, latest news, progress on on going phases -
18) It's built for 4 coaches but can be easily extended to 8 coaches.

I really thank Congress CM Sheila Dikshit who worked tiredlessly in ensuring a speedy completion of this. It has reduced pollution, travelling time very much.


Anonymous said...

Good one! Didn't know Delhi Metro was so good, even better than London's; I'm really feeling proud inside!

By the way, good blog mate :-)

Anonymous said...

excellent blog! delhi metro no doubt is an excellent infrastructure project, a big thanks to the DMRC. THANK YOU FOR GIVING US A FIRST WORLD METRO SYSTEM.

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Anonymous said...

This is just the beginning.Delhi metro would be our first lesson to foreigners. we would be world guru like we used to be in past. so indian are great. jai hind