Delhi Metro has set an ambitious target under which the frequency between two trains will go up significantly, ensuring a waiting period of not more than three minutes for commuters in almost all its sections. Out of the 19 stretches, the number of stretches where trains are available at a frequency of every 3 minutes or less is only three now.
Metro authorities recently submitted a proposal to the Delhi government for the procurement of 916 new coaches, that translate to 102 new trains. It also includes the conversion of the existing four and six coach trains to six and eight coach respectively. The proposal, which awaits the clearence of the Centre and the city government, is aimed at tackling “extreme overcrowding” in the rapidly expanding network, that has seen an annual increase of 17.5 per cent in ridership in the last five years.
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According to the Detailed Project Report (DPR), trains will run every 1 min 54 sec in the Kashmere Gate – Green Park stretch of Yellow Line, where the frequency is projected to be the highest. Presently, the frequency on Line 2, one of metro’s busiest corridors that connect Samaypur Badli to Gurgaon’s Huda City Centre, stretch between 2 min 13 sec and 8 minutes.
The same will be 2 min 50 sec and 1 min 54 sec if the new coaches are pressed into service. On line 3/4, that connects Dwarka to Noida City Centre, train frequency will range between 3 min 38 sec and 2 min 25 sec. The number of stretches where trains are available every 3 minutes or less are only three now. If the new coaches are deployed, as planned between April 2017 and March 2021, the same will go up to at least 14.
“The overall capital cost for the procurement of additional 916 cars including infrastructure facilities at January 2016 price level works out to Rs. 13,284 crore. “There is a persistent demand from all quarters including the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India that DMRC shall endeavour to run the trains with best possible frequency to meet the needs of the public transport in the city of Delhi,” the report prepared by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said.
The metro has 227 trains in its fleet currently. The average daily ridership is around 28 lakh which occasionally crosses the 30 lakh mark and will significantly increase once Phase III becomes operational next year, for which a separate order of 486 coaches has been placed. The report says Line 2 and Line 3/4 have provisions for 488 and 574 coaches while the requirements are 672 and 816.