The Delhi Metro will have to expand its network to almost 400 km in length if it has to compete with the best metro systems in the world, E Sreedharan, principal advisor to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), said on Friday.
“The passenger load in Delhi is huge. Unless the network is extended to approximately 400 km, our Metro system will not be able to compete with the best in the world,” he said. The Metro network is currently around 200 km in length.
Sreedharan was speaking at a felicitation ceremony organised at the Embassy of Japan on Friday after being awarded the ‘Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star’ by the Japanese government in November last year “for his contribution to strengthening Japan’s presence in India and to promoting friendly relations between Japan and India through the Delhi Metro Project…”.
Japanese Ambassador Takeshi Yagi, former chief minister Sheila Dikshit, DMRC managing director Mangu Singh, among others were present on the occasion.
Sreedharan said it was due to the continuing support of the Japanese government that the Metro could take proper shape. “We hope the government of Japan continues to support us monetarily for the next phases,” he said.
Sreedharan said the biggest challenge faced by Metro projects was slow decision-making by the bureaucracy. He praised the BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi for the speed at which projects were executed in Gujarat. He said it was an example of fast decision-making within bureaucracy.
Thanking Dikshit, Sreedharan said, “She extended all support to the Delhi Metro. Now that she is the Governor of Kerala, it will be wonderful if we can have her blessings for the projects in Kerala also.”