The Delhi Metro, which will complete 13 years in the city on Thursday, seems to have a challenging year lined up ahead with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) intending to commission its ambitious Phase-III network. Only 18 kilometres were added to the metro network this year, while in 2016 the National Capital Region will witness an expansion of 159 kilometres.
It was on December 24, 2002, that the first Metro service in Delhi was formally flagged off between the Shahdara and Tis Hazari stations on the Red Line. With an initial network of just 8.5 kilometres, six stations and one route in 2002, the Delhi Metro has expanded to cover 213 kilometres with 160 stations on seven corridors.
Anuj Dayal, DMRC, Executive Director (Corporate Communications) said, “The main highlight of the year 2015 was the extension of the Metro to the satellite city of Faridabad.
The Metro was also extended to Samaypur Badli in the north of the Capital and till the busy office hub of ITO in the heart of the city.”
The ridership of the Delhi Metro touched new heights as it reached the 32 lakh mark on August 28, Mr. Dayal added. Apart from having upgraded facilities like a 24×7 IVRS Customer Care number, the aesthetic appeal of stations has also been paid attention to.
“Especially-designed display panels were installed, book stores by Sahitya Akademi were introduced, Green Park and Jor Bagh stations were decided to be turned into culture hubs, and an art gallery of Crafts maps was also inaugurated,” Mr. Dayal said.
A visa facilitation centre, which will provide visa services for 31 countries, has also been opened at the Shivaji Stadium Metro Station of the Airport Express Metro Line. The centre, operated by VFS Global, has 153 facilitation counters with a capability to process over 12,000 applications in a day.
Further, the viewers’ gallery was thrown open for passengers to decongest the busy Rajiv Chowk station. Also, seven more exit (AFC) gates were made operational.
An over-bridge was constructed at the HUDA City Centre station to segregate the entry and exit points for passengers on different floors, while work is in progress at the Kirti Nagar station to provide separate entry and exit points to prevent congestion.
The issue of congestion is set to ease with the Phase III network, which will have around 27 inter-change stations offering multiple routes to commuters, becoming operational
The issue of congestion on the Metro is set to ease with the Phase III network