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Enclosing Delhi and the cities nearby, namely, Noida, Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, and Delhi, the Delhi Metro is a system that is impertinent for the people of these places for their daily commute and running. It is situated in the National Capital Region of India. Delhi Metro was built , is owned and run by the Delhi metro rail corporation limited (DMRC) which is a company owned by the state due to its equity share being owned equally by the government of India as well as the government of Delhi. It is the second of its kind to be built in India right after its predecessor the Kolkata metro.
It is known to be the 10th largest metro and ranks at 16th largest in total ridership all over the world. A member of the Community of metros (CoMET) its railway network is substantially widespread over eight colour coded transport lines. The total length of the tracks is approximately 300 kilometre and has over 220 stations over it.
THE NEED FOR DELHI METRO
A study on the traffic and travel conditions which was conducted in 1969 pointed out the need for a mass transportation system for the city of New Delhi. To accomplish this, over the course of several years, many official committees by different types of government departments were given the duty of examining the barriers preventing them to achieve this, such as restrictions related to the current technology, route alignment, financial feasibility and the governmental power who will oversee it. After almost 15 years the Urban Arts commission came up with a feasible solution, which was the development of a multi-faceted transport system which would require the construction of three underground corridors to be used for mass rapid transit. It would also serve the added benefit of adding to the city’s already existing network of suburban railway and road transport.
During the time period when finance was being raised and large-scale technical studies were going on for this project , the city of Delhi was in its primetime for expansion , the result of which was a huge increase of twice its existing population and an even greater increase of five times in the number of on-road vehicles .
The existing bus system was unable to handle this new major inflow of commuters due to which more and more people started preferring to take private vehicles. This resulted in extra headaches for the government in the form of steeply rising pollution and traffic congestion. To counter this, the government attempted to hand over the bus business over to the private industry but this only made it worse as this gave way to a plethora of new problems such as operators who didn’t know what to do, buses causing noise and air pollution, very long waiting times for a ride, drivers that were unfit to drive, overcrowding and an highly unreliable service.
To try and correct the above mentioned issues the government of India joined hands with the government of Delhi and together established the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. The position of its first managing director was given to Dr. E. Sreedharan.
PRICE HIKE AND LOSS OF RIDERSHIP
The DMRC wanted a hike in the travel fares all the way since 2009 but due to multiple complications it only got a fare panel after 7 years in 2016. The panel established was a three member one and was being headed by the Union of urban development secretary Mr Rajib Gauba.
For having sought after the fare hike, the DMRC gave a lot of reasons, but their main focus was upon the rising operation costs which included an over 90% hike in electricity tariff. It has to be noted that power bills is responsible for almost 33% of the DMRC’s total operating costs. Adding to this, it came to the governments notice that the DMRC had suffered major losses in the year 2015-16 amounting to a total of almost 710 crores .The DMRC also declared that its operating ratio was approximately 76% which meant that to earn a rupee , they had to spend 76 paise for it.
All this led to the major fare hike in August ,2017 , in which there was a 100% increase in travel fares in all the distance slabs , for the 0-2 km bracket the price changed from 4-6 rupees to 10 , for the 2-5km went from 9-11 to 20 and so on. Although the fare hike helped bring the operating ratio down from 76% to 65% approximately, it brought about a major fall in the ridership
A query revealed that the Delhi metro had lost over three lakh commuters a day , weeks after the price hike came into effect in October 2017 .the average ridership a day came down from 27.7 lakh to 24.3 lakh , which is blow of almost 11 percent . Taking into account the density demographics in of every colour metro line, the blue and yellow lines were the ones with the highest footfall, which is also why they suffered the heaviest losses of almost 30 lakh and 19 lakh commuters.
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