Govt ropes in DMRC to help run trams

July 31, 2014

Hindustan Times (Delhi)

Atul Mathur  

NEW DELHI: The Delhi government has decided to rope in Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to (DMRC) build and operate trams in the walled city.

Senior PWD engineers said DMRC had the technical expertise to run a modern mass transit system in the Capital and operate it successfully.

“We have written to the Delhi Metro that we will need its help to prepare the detailed project report and execute the project. We will prepare the ground for them,” a senior PWD engineer said.

A DMRC spokesperson, however, said they were yet to receive any official communication.

Senior Delhi government officials said the decision to involve Delhi Metro in the project was taken in a meeting headed by Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung. Sources said the L-G is taking keen interest in the project and has put it on the fast lane.

Re-introducing trams is a part of Delhi government’s ambitious Shahjahanabad re-development project to bring back the lost glory of the Walled City. Trams were a popular mode of public transport for almost 55 years between 1908 and 1963. The bigger plan is to have a tram network of about 20-kilometers in the walled city – as it did in the first half of the 20th century – with the government planning to run it on a three-kilometre route from Esplanade Road (near Red Fort crossing) to Sadar Bazar in first phase.

“To start with, we have started putting all external cables and wires underground from Fatehpuri to Esplanade Road. Once it is done we will take the second carriageway. We will also build 15-metre wide lane which will have the space for trams and pedestrians. The other side will have two carriageways for local traffic, non-motorised vehicles and emergency vehicles,” a senior PWD engineer said.



Metro’s service the best, cops’ the worst, Delhiites say

September 2, 2013


Metro’s service the best, cops’ the worst, Delhiites say
NEW DELHI:  Delhiites are happiest with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) followed by the electricity department and unhappiest with the Delhi Police and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) among all the public services.This was revealed during focus group discussions done as part of a perception survey done for the Delhi Human Development Report 2013. In the survey, people were asked to rate their dealings with government officials of various departments with whom they came into frequent contact. In this rating, Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and bus services were also given a decent rating.About 79% of respondents rated their interaction with DMRCpersonnel as good. Only about 10% said their interaction was good with Delhi Police and MCD, while over 40% actually rated their interaction with these agencies as poor. While women did not like the city’s transport system in general, they were appreciative of the Delhi metro.

When asked which was the most problematic service or issue, about a third of the respondents across all income categories rated sanitation services as the worst, though the concern was highest in the lower-income settlements. This was followed by water supply, which was rated the worst by a higher proportion of respondents in the three lowest income brackets indicating the problems faced by them with regard to availability of water in their localities. This revealed the wide disparities in the provisioning of basic services in terms of both quality and quantity. A sizeable proportion also rated bad roads and safety as problems in their areas.

Children cited lack of open spaces to play and quality of education and schools as their most pressing problems. For the elderly, the greatest concern was lack of pension and income security. The men surveyed disliked the city’s poor sanitation, open sewers and drains and water supply the most, while women listed safety, alcoholism and transport hassles as the things they disliked the most in Delhi.

The survey revealed that vulnerable sections like women, elderly, scheduled castes and the uneducated are more dissatisfied, which ties in with the survey showing how poorer localities and weaker sections are more deprived of basic services, safety and security.

Maharashtra to stand by DMRC’s elevated metro proposal

August 14, 2013


PUNE: The state government will stick to the elevated metro plan proposed by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for Pune, setting aside all the objections raised by NGOs, civic groups and the state finance department, deputy chief minister AjitPawar said on Saturday.


He was speaking during an interaction with the media at the Pune Union of Working Journalists.


Pawar said, “It is a fact that the metro project has been delayed. We have heard all the suggestions made by NGOs, experts, citizens and political parties. For the last few years the city has debated about (the merits and demerits of) underground and elevated metro. However, the fact is the city cannot afford an underground metro and hence we have decided to go ahead with the original plan (proposed by the DMRC).”


Pawar said, however, the state was not in a position to announce an exact date of completion for the metro project.


He added, “Recently, a delegation from a citizens’ group headed by Vijay Kelkar submitted a memorandum saying Pune should have an underground metro. We need to understand that an underground metro project is unaffordable and the resultant fares will also be high. The motive to have public transport will be defeated if citizens refuse to use metro because of high fares.”


Pawar said the state finance department has raised objections to the financial model for the project. “The state government will overrule objections raised by the finance department and go ahead with the project. The finance department has its own views, which are not binding on the cabinet. (For instance), the proposal of pensions for MLAs was opposed by the finance department, but the cabinet approved it.”


Finance department officials have suggested that the municipal corporation’s share in the total project cost be hiked to 20% from the existing 10%, while the state and central governments should put in 20% each. The rest should be raised by the Special Purpose Vehicle.



Probe faults DMRC for IGI Metro mess

August 8, 2013


NEW DELHI: A month after Delhi Metro took over the operations of the Airport Metro Express, it faces a tough task ahead. The urban development ministry has handed over the report of inquiry committee set up to fix responsibility for the closure of the airport link to the DMRC board and asked it to take action fast. The report has found not only the concessionaire and contractors but also the Metro officials responsible.

The two-member committee had found deficiencies on the part of various agencies, said minister of state for urban development Deepa Dasmunshi in a written reply in Lok Sabha. These agencies include the concessionaire, DAMEPL, construction contractor (M/s IJM-IJMI JV), airport line consultant (PCI-PBI-JARTS-TONICHI- RITES), detailed design consultants M/s Systra and also DMRC, she said. In its first report, the panel had identified Kumar Keshav, then DMRC director (projects), for “system failure”. It had also held responsible five officials—then chief project manager O P Singh, then deputy chief engineers Ravi Kapoor and J P Vashist, deputy general manager ( finance) Sanjeev Mehta and assistant manager Deepak Patiar — for being involved in the contract awarded to IJM-IJMI joint venture. Keshav no longer works with the Metro. He worked with Delhi Metro for a decade.

He executed important projects like the Dwarka, Inderlok- Mundka and Central Secretariat-Badarpur lines. He was promoted as director (projects and planning) in December 2009

The minister also said after the report was submitted, one member of the committee submitted a supplementary note for fixing responsibility also on Mangu Singh, then director (works), and R N Joshi, then director (finance). But the other member felt there was no reason for the top management to interfere in the day-to-day working and the responsibility attributed to the top management of DMRC was not justified.

In her reply, the minister said DMRC had spent over Rs 14.03 crore on repairing the bearings and intended to recover this cost from the construction contractor and partially from DAMEPL. Dasmunshi said the report was referred to the Central Vigilance Commission, and according to its advice, it has been forwarded to DMRC.

In response to another question in Lok Sabha related to the Airport Metro Express corridor, Dasmunshi said that Reliance Infra had invoked the termination clause and claimed termination payments from DMRC.She said that the DMRC had also invoked the arbitration mechanism available within the concession agreement to resolve disputes between both the parties.The fate of DMRC managing director Mangu Singh and seven serving and former functionaries now depends on the DMRC board.


Delhi Metro second largest in southeast Asia in ridership

July 31, 2013

New Delhi: Delhi Metro is now the second largest metro service in southeast Asia in terms of the passenger load it carries, next only to Hong Kong, its chief said Monday.The metro service, which started in 2002, has surpassed Singapore and Taipei metros in per day average ridership, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) chief Mangu Singh said.

“In last six months, the average per day ridership of Delhi metro has risen to 2.01 million per day,” he said.

The highest ridership was recorded on July 1, at a massive 2.36 million on the 190-km long metro line.

According to figures provided by DMRC, the per day average ridership was 18 lakh in the first six months of 2012. It increased to 19.61 lakh per day in the second half of the year.

Singapore had a per day average ridership of 1.94 million in 2012 on its 148.9 km-long network, while Taipei had an average ridership of 1.71 million per day in May 2013. The length of its network is 115.6 km.

Hong Kong metro, meanwhile, had an average ridership of 4 million per day in 2012 on its 115.6 km-long line.



Metro ready with phase 4 report, work to begin soon

July 15, 2013

Subhendu Ray , Hindustan Times  New Delhi,

 The construction of Metro corridors under the proposed phase 4 may start much before the ongoing phase 3 is completed.

Taking steps in this direction, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is almost on the verge of completing the detailed project report (DPR) for the proposed phase 4 corridors (94.24km).

“By August DPR for all the corridors proposed in phase 4 will be ready and submitted to the state government for requisite approvals. After that we will be able to start civil work under phase 4, anytime the government wants us to,” said SD Sharma, director, business development, DMRC.

 Delhi Metro has already prepared and submitted the DPR for the Maujpur-Mukundpur corridor to the Delhi government.

It is also almost ready with the DPR for Janakpuri West-RK Ashram corridor and would submit it to the government within a week, said Sharma.

By the end of this month, DMRC will submit DPRs for three other corridors— Tughlakabad-Aerocity, Lajpat Nagar-Saket G Block and Inderlok-Indraprastha —and the DPR for Rithala-Narela via Bawana by August, said DMRC officials.

Before finalising, the DPRs would have to be approved first by the Delhi government and then by the Centre.

“We may have to start construction work for some corridors under phase 4 much before the completion of phase 3 in 2016. We have expedited the process of preparing DPR for phase 4 as the urban development minister wanted early execution of the project,” Sharma said.

Phase 4 is scheduled to be completed by 2021.

According to officials, Delhi Metro has made certain changes in the initial project layout following suggestions given by the Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES), an engineering consultancy company, which last year had conducted a traffic survey and found that some changes in the plan would benefit more people.


DMRC begins preparations to operate airport express line

July 15, 2013

PTI  New Delhi, June 29, 2013

A day after Reliance Infra refused to operate the Delhi Airport Metro line beyond June 30, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation on Saturday said it has started all the necessary arrangements required to take over operations of the 22.7 km long express link.

“DMRC has started all necessary arrangements required for taking over the operations of the airport express link, if any such requirement arises, in the wake of a recent letter by the concessionaire communicating that they (Reliance Infra) will not be able to run the services after the business hours of June 30,” a DMRC spokesperson said.

Reliance Infra owned Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Limited (DAMEPL) had written a letter on June 27 expressing its inability to continue operations from the night of June 30.

Yesterday, in a board meeting the DMRC had rejected the notice given by Reliance Infra, and termed it as a “violation” of the Concessionaire Agreement and the ongoing Arbitration proceedings.

An Operations and Maintenance team of 100 officials has been created under DMRC’s director, operations, Sharat Sharma to handle the operations of the airport line, the spokesperson said.

DMRC’s managing director Mangu Singh has also formed a core committee of seven senior officials to handle extreme emergency situations.

Officers and staff will be deputed for all the strategic departments such as Operations, Traction, Electrical and Maintenance, Civil, Signalling and Communications, Security, Rolling Stock and Finance, he said.

An Operations Control Manager (OCM) will also be appointed with a dedicated team to take over the control of all the important Operations Control Centre (OCC) of the line, from where the Express link operations are monitored.

However, the staff currently employed by the concessionaire in station management and train operations will continue to carry on with their responsibilities under the DMRC’s supervision.

“Senior DMRC officials today had a meeting with the officials of the concessionaire, Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Limited for the smooth transition of the services. Both the organisations are working together to ensure the continuation of the smooth functioning of the line,” the DMRC spokesperson said.


Smartphones may replace Metro cards

June 18, 2013

Subhendu Ray, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 16, 2013

Travelling across the city in Delhi Metro is likely to get more comfortable if you are a smartphone user. You may not even need to carry a Metro smartcard or buy a token because your phone will have everything you need.The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is exploring the possibility of introducing a new system termed near-field communication (NFC), which has the ability to make smartphones act as Metro smartcards. The NFC device in your phone will act as the electronic identity document and keycard.

“We hope to put the system in place soon and reduce the use of physical smartcards within two years before our network expansion under phase 3 is completed. NFC devices are currently at a trial stage,” said a senior engineer of the signalling department of DMRC.

The projected average daily metro ridership in 2016 is projected at nearly 40 lakh once phase 3 expansion is over. DMRC is eyeing at a 30 per cent reduction in manual smartphone transactions through this system.

Many new Samsung smartphones, Nokia Lumia phones, Sony’s Xperia range, HTC’s high-end phones and LG’s Optimus range support NFC. Many other smartphone makers too are reportedly keen on introducing the system.

“An antenna chip will be inserted in the smartphone, which will function as a smartcard. The commuter will have to bring the phone close to the automatic fare collection (AFC) gate to gain entry,” said Anuj Dayal, chief spokesperson of DMRC. The device will establish radio communication with the AFC gate when touched or in close proximity to the phone.

“The new generation phones will let you recharge the chip. The amount of recharge will be reflected in your monthly phone bills “, he added.

The NFC devices are also being tried as alternative to smartcards in Dubai and Singapore metros, he said.


Record no. of curves in ph-3 metro corridor

June 18, 2013

htreporters, Hindustan Times  New Delhi,

The Hazrat Nizamuddin-Shiv Vihar standard gauge corridor of the Delhi Metro, which is part of Phase III, will have a record number of sharp curves.”There are uneven twists and turns in this 25-km elevated corridor. So we have been forced to construct 14 curves on this stretch, which passes through highly congested areas of east Delhi such as Trilokpuri, Anand Vihar, Karkardooma, Welcome and Seelampur,” said a Delhi Metro spokesperson.

Curves with a radius between 200 and 300 meters are considered ‘sharp’ in urban rail construction. “The work on building sharp curves requires a great deal of engineering skills and several factors have to be kept in mind while designing special segments/spans at the turn concerned,” the spokesperson added.

The Hazrat Nizamuddin-Shiv Vihar corridor is a part of the 59-km-long Mukundpur-Shiv Vihar corridor.


New Metro stations to allow pedestrians to cross busy roads

June 18, 2013


htreporters, Hindustan Times

To ensure pedestrians have more facilities to cross busy arterial roads, the public works department (PWD) has asked the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to provide passage to pedestrians through the unpaid area in all stations in phase 3 and phase 4 expansions.

 PWD officials said they had written to DMRC earlier this month and held a meeting with its officials. “The number of vehicles is growing at a steady pace and it gets difficult for pedestrians to cross the busy streets. Instead of constructing subways or pedestrian bridges every couple of kilometres, it is better if a passage is provided to them through Metro stations,” said a senior PWD official. 

The PWD official said they had asked the Delhi Metro to make such a provision at its upcoming stations along Ring Road and Outer Ring Road. Delhi Metro will construct about 230km Metro network in the next few years. Two of its longest lines being constructed under phase 3 — Mukundpur to Yamuna Vihar and Janakpuri to Botanical garden (Noida) — are coming up along Ring Road and Outer Ring Road, respectively.  Delhi Metro officials said they were making conscious efforts to provide smooth passage to pedestrians through its stations wherever possible. “The stations built in phase 1 do not have this facility but all stations, whether elevated or underground, built in phase 2 provide passage to pedestrians,” a DMRC spokesperson said.

While stations between Rajiv Chowk and Dwarka do not allow pedestrians to use the Metro stations to cross busy Patel Road or Najafgarh Road, all stations in Noida and Gurgaon can be used to cross the roads. ”In phase 3 and phase 4 also, we will make provisions for pedestrians to cross through the unpaid area,” the spokesperson said.


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