The Delhi Metro will have another first as it will operate nine-coach trains as part of its phase-IV network, which is currently awaiting approval from the Delhi government.
When it is completed in 2021, the total length of the metro network in Delhi will be 434 kms with 308 stations. The daily ridership through the network is likely to go upto 63 lakh from the current 28 lakh. In the two lines of phase-III, the trains can only be of six-coach as the length of the platforms is short.
Since ridership is expected to increase a lot, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has planned to keep the length of the platform long enough to handle nine-coach trains.
“Only the length of the platforms of new/independent/stand-alone corridors have been proposed to have nine coaches. However, the corridors which are extensions of existing corridors or sections currently under implementation in Phase 3 will continue to have six coaches,” said a Delhi Metro spokesperson.
DMRC has proposed six lines in phase-IV however, only four of them are new lines. Two are extensions of existing lines. The four new lines will have nine-coach trains.
Delhi Metro has proposed six lines in phase-IV but only four of them are new lines, while two are extensions of existing lines. Currently, DMRC operates four-coach, six-coach and eight-coach trains, depending upon the requirement.
The four corridors -Inderlok -Delhi Gate-Indraprastha, Aerocity-Saket-Tughlakabad, Lajpat Nagar-Chirag Delhi-Saket G Block and Rithala-Bawana-Narela -will have nine-coach trains.
“One coach can carry 300 passengers and overall capacity of Delhi Metro train will increase if we have more coaches. Initially, we will start with four or six coach trains, depending on the requirement and later, whenever we feel that there is congestion, we will press nine-coach trains,” said a Metro official.
The DMRC has already tendered for the topographical survey of these lines. The phase-IV Metro will connect the city to outer parts of the Capital and bolster connectivity to the airport. It will also better connectivity with Old Delhi.
“In phase-III, where we have two fresh lines, we won’t be able to operate more than six-coach trains. However, we will make it up with phase-IV as the capacity of the train will be increased by 50%,” the official added.
These lines, in addition with the 140 kms of Metro network added in Phase III, are expected to free up traffic bottlenecks in the congested central and south parts of the city and help passengers from outer Delhi.
The DMRC is hopeful that problem of overcrowding will be solved when these lines of phase-III and phase-IV become operational.
The Delhi and the Central governments were on loggerhead over the line, but in January, the Delhi government gave cabinet approval to it. Usually 70% of the cost of metro projects is paid by loan and 15% each is shared by the Delhi and Central government. However, the project is in controversy due to another difference between the Centre and the Aam Aadmi Party government over funding mechanism.
While approving the Rs. 50,000-crore project in January, the city government had sought exemption from paying its share of the subordinate debt for central taxes that amount to Rs. 3,098 crore. Or, it wanted Delhi’s share of state taxes for the project written off.
However, the demand was rejected by the Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.