Continuous growth of population is a serious problem all over the world, more so in tropical countries specially in eastern part of the hemisphere.  India is an outstanding example of countries facing the problem of over population.  India is predominantly an agricultural country.  Increasing population leads to sub-division and fragmentation of agricultural holdings thereby making them uneconomic and thus forcing the surplus man power to migrate to urban areas in search of livelihood.  Thus influx of population accompanied by ever increasing number of vehicles has created serious problem of transportation in metropolitan cities.  Delhi, being the capital of the country, is worst sufferer in this respect.

To find a remedy for the problem of transportation a study group was formed in 1990 in order to find the possibility of starting mass rapid transit system in the city.  This study group recommend the construction of railway track of 240 km length in the year 2001.  This plan was approved by the Government and construction of 62.5 km long railway track was sanctioned in the first phase.

On May 3, 1995 Delhi Metro Rail Corporation was constituted.  Government of India and Delhi Government have to share the responsibility equally i.e., fourteen percent each of the total cost of the project. 64% of the cost shall be borne by Japanese organisation, 3% of the total cost shall be in the form of capital loan and the remaining 5% will be met by the cost of land to be acquired for the purpose.  Capital cost for Phase I was estimated to be Rs. 6,000 crore taking 1996 as base year.  But on account of increased prices during the last decade this amount may rise upto Rs. 10,571 crore.

For phase I, 40.681 hectare of land has been acquired out of which nearly ten percent belongs to the railways and 90% land was owned by the Delhi Municipal Corporation or private persons.  Compensation for this land had to be paid and the affected families or persons had to be rehabilitated.  Phase I includes 12.5  km underground corridor and 50 km elevated corridor resting on huge pillars.  There are 41 stations and the whole track is broad guage.  With the completion of first phase, nearly 12.5 lac people utilize the metro rail service every day.  It has a capacity of 60000 passengers per hour per direction.

Three types of lanes have been laid.  Lane 1 is on the surface, lane 2 is entirely underground and lane 3 is partly on surface, partly elevated and partly underground.  Railway track from Shahdra to Rithala has been completed and trains are running upto Tis Hazari.  These trains have been imported from South Korea.  They are fitted with all comfortable furnishings and are quite safe and comfortable.

Delhi's population has already crossed the figure of 150 lacs and there is no end to influx of population.  Vehicles running in Delhi roads are estimated to be well above 50 lacs.  Apart from environmental pollution, the problem of road accidents stares on the face.  With the completion of Metro Rail Project the city will get rid of the devil of pollution, the incidence of road accidents will be minimised, there will be saving in consumption of diesel and petrol and above all saving of time will contribute to the well being of the citizens.  There will be a saving of 22 lac passenger trips.  Average speed of the buses carrying these passengers will go up from an average of 10.5 km per hour to 15 km per hour, thereby saving 26 lac man hours which could be utilised for useful activities.

To encounter the rush of passengers during peak hours a Metro rail will run at an interval of 3 minutes so that waiting time for the passengers would be minimised.  Metro rail stations have been provided with all possible modern amenities which include automatic train signal system, automatic booking system, airconditioned compartments and automatic doors.

On October 3, 2003, Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpai,  Prime Minister of India inaugurated 4.5 km long metro rail track from Tis Hazari to Trinagar.  With this the track covered a distance of 13km.  On July 2, 2005, Smt. Sonia Gandhi inaugurated another track from Kashmiri Gate to Central secretariat covering a distance of 7 km.  Thus first phase of Delhi Metro train has nearly been completed.  Second phase is expected to completed by the end of 2010 and the third phase upto 2015.  The fourth and final phase is projected to be completed upto 2021.


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