Delhi Metro Rail Corporation takes over Airport Express

September 2, 2013


NEW DELHI: The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation took charge of Airport Express Metro on Monday. Even though DMRC is responsible for the management of the airport line hereafter, Reliance Infra staff will continue to provide technical support. Around 500 employees from Reliance will now work for DMRC until a new plan is rolled out to make the IGI line financially viable.DMRC officials said the project is running at a loss of about Rs 4 crore. “Balance sheets of Reliance Infra show the Metro line is being run at a cost of Rs 7 crore monthly but the income from it is only about Rs 3 crore,” Sharat Sharma, DMRC director (operations), said.

On Monday, DMRC showcased the Metro line to media by taking reporters on a ride from Shivaji Stadium to Dwarka Sector 21. Most stations on the line were deserted. “We are happy DMRC has taken over. This is our second ride on this line and it’s very comfortable. We don’t even mind the high fares,” said Manju V, an accountant who boarded the train from the airport. Other passengers, too, said that the line should continue but more stations should be added.

While DMRC will have an equally tough time running the 22.7km line at a loss of about Rs 4 crore, officials said they are brainstorming ideas to help make it profitable. “We have not arrived at a decision. We have just taken over operations so that there is less inconvenience to commuters,” added Sharma. He said it’s too early to comment on if there will be a change in fares.

The line, which is the nation’s first public-private partnership in the Metro sector, has been beset by controversy ever since it began operations in February 2011. Services were suspended from July 7, 2012, to January 22, 2013, due to technical problems and, after reopening, the speed was cut to 50kmph, resulting in a fall in ridership from anything between 20,000 and 21,000 per day to about 10,000.


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