Optimistic about the revival of the ailing Ring Railway,the Ministry of Urban Development last Tuesday asked the Railways to commission a study on how to improve ridership and patronage on the line. The MoUD also promised substantial funding for the project and asked Railways to keep all project stakeholders in the loop.
Ring Railway was introduced in 1975 and then upgraded in 1982 for the Asiad. Around 24 additional services were run on the line during the 1982 Asiad to handle the additional passenger load. At present,13 trains run on the Ring Railway seven clockwise and six anti-clockwise with a peak frequency of 60-90 minutes in the morning and evening rush hours.
Sudhir Krishna,Secretary,MoUD,told Newsline,We have offered to fund the study and have also asked Railways to keep all the stakeholders,such as Traffic police,MoUD,Transport department and others updated on the interim reports. We are hopeful of reviving the Ring Railway and utilising it for urban transport services.
Most of the stations on the Ring Railway do not have proper entry or exit points and there are no proper roads leading to these stations. Passengers mostly have to walk through residential colonies to the reach stations in the absence of an organised feeder bus service.
Before the 2010 Commonwealth Games,Railways gave a facelift to some of the stations such as Chanakyapuri,Sarojini Nagar,Inderpuri Halt,Lajpat Nagar,Sewa Nagar,Lodhi Colony and Safdarjung that were in proximity to the Games venues. It was then that the Transport department held talks with Railways and asked them to develop the service to help decongest the city. But no initiative was taken by Railways then. Senior Railway officials said the Ring Railway service had fallen to disuse and mostly goods trains are being run on the line now. The body is now planning to rope in either Delhi Integrated Multi-modal Transit System (DIMTS) or RITES to conduct the study.
In a recent meeting attended by senior officials of the MoUD,Railways,Delhi Transport Corporation,Transport department,DIMTS and RITES,the issue of increasing feeder bus service for the Delhi Metro was also taken up.