More coaches, frequency to prevent Delhi metro from becoming ‘Mumbai locals ‘
New Delhi : Increasing rush is making Delhi Metro experience like that of “Mumbai locals”, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said today, eliciting a promise of more coaches and increased frequency of trains from Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu at the inauguration of the Jahangirpuri- Samaypur Badli extension here.
Both the Chief Minister and the Union Urban Development Minister emphasised on the need to work together as ‘team India’. Naidu also accepted Kejriwal’s request to change the name of two stations on the newly-launched section.
At an event at the DMRC headquarters, Kejriwal hailed Naidu as “one of the most progressive minds” in the Union Cabinet. The first train was flagged off via video-conferencing.
“Going back to cars should not be allowed. I will be suggesting to DMRC and also hold a review meeting with them. They will be going for additional coaches and increasing the frequency as well so that more coaches and more trips are there and people can be accommodated,” Naidu said.
Earlier, Kejriwal flagged the issue of overcrowding of metro coaches saying it was compelling a section to opt for other means of transport including private vehicles which, he said, was “not a good thing”.
“Crowd is going up every year resulting in a major section preferring other means over metro. But the real success of metro is achieved when a person takes metro over car. Middle class and even upper middle class had started using the metro.
“But due to the crowd, metro is no longer comfortable. It is turning into locals of Mumbai where you are pushed in and out of coaches by the crowd,” Kejriwal said.
The 4.4-km long Jahangirpuri-Samaypur Badli extension of metro’s Yellow Line, will bring outer Delhi areas such as GT Karnal Road, Rohni, Transport Nagar, Badli into Delhi metro’s fold.
Currently Jahangirpuri is one of the terminal stations on this line, the other end of which runs till Gurgaon’s Huda City Centre. With this extension, its length will be 49 kilometres.
Kejriwal described Delhi Metro as a shining example of “cooperative federalism”, saying that if this model is replicated elsewhere, Delhi as a city would benefit. Metro has also bucked the perception of government enterprises being “inefficient”, he said.
Naidu underlined the need to have a multi-pronged strategy in Delhi to tackle the problem of congestion, thinking in terms of “parking, pricing and management” and an ‘Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority’.
“Inland water transport system is also being considered by the shipping ministry,” he said.
Naidu readily agreed to the proposal of renaming Haiderpur station to ‘Haiderpur Badli Mor’ and Sector 18 station to ‘Sector 18-19 station’ to respect the sentiments of the local people. BJP MLA Vijender Gupta, who was also present on the occasion, had moved the proposal to Kejriwal.
“These stations have rooftop solar panels as well and have provision for rain water harvesting. Every house in Delhi must have solar panels and rainwater harvesting. There’s going to be a major crisis over water in the coming days.
“J Jayalalithaa has made it mandatory in Tamil Nadu and it has bore excellent results. Good examples should be followed, our parties may be different,” Naidu said.
Terming metro as the “flavour of the season”, Naidu said in the coming days metro coverage is expected to touch 1,000 km across the country.
“Metro is the flavour of the season but the cost is very heavy. Everyone everywhere wants the metro. Keeping problematic issues such as land acquisition in mind, the Centre and states should work together. There’s no such problem in Delhi by and large due to cooperation,” Naidu said.
The total metro network including the Airport Express Line with the opening of this section will become 213 km with 160 stations.
The total travel time from Samaypur Badli station to Huda City Centre station will be around 1 hour and 20 minutes, a DMRC statement said.