Tuesday, Mar 30, 2004
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By Our Staff Reporter
NEW DELHI, MARCH 29 .The opening of the Inderlok (formerly Tri Nagar)- Rithala section of the Metro Rail project, which was earlier scheduled for March 30, has been postponed by a day as the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC)'s fare-fixation committee failed to take any decision on revision of the fare structure today. "A decision on the fare structure might come on March 30 and train operations on the new section may be opened on March 31," said the DMRC spokesperson.
With all preparations, including the trial run that has been going on for the past two months, having been completed successfully for the new 8.8 km-long section of Phase-I, it was supposed to be opened for the public on March 30. However, the inconclusive stormy DMRC Board meeting failed to reach any consensus today. With the ridership of Metro Rail expected to double after the opening of the new section, top DMRC functionaries feel that its high time that some hike was effected in the fares in order to meet the Corporation's growing financial requirements.
Significantly, the issue had also come up at a Board meeting in November 2003 but it was shelved as it was feared that ridership would decline if the fares were increased. But now with the new section coming into operation, the Metro will cover the 21.3 km distance between Rithala and Shahdara in air-conditioned comfort and in almost half the time people spend in commuting by any other mode of public transport.
At present, the maximum fare on the Metro is Rs.8 - for the 12.8 km travel between Shahdara and Inderlok - and this is Rs.2 less than what an ordinary passenger would have had to pay for travel by bus over the same distance. Keeping these factors in mind, Metro officials feel that people will happily bear the financial burden of increased fare prices.
The section between Inderlok and Rithala with eight new stations would run 12 metres above the ground and extend the length of the operational Rail corridor to 21.3 km from the present 12.8 km. The entire stretch would be covered in 38 minutes. However, the increase in the number of passengers is expected to be more than 100 per cent and is expected to cross the 1.5 lakh per day mark from the present figure of 80,000-odd passengers.
The Metro train will run from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day with a frequency six minutes during peak hours. The number of trains on the entire Shahdara-Rithala section is also likely to be increased from seven to 16. The eight stations on the new section are - Kanhaiya Nagar, Keshav Puram, Netaji Subhash Place, Kohat Enclave, Pitampura, Rohini-East, Rohini-West and Rithala. Interestingly for the first time, apart from regular passenger amenities, DMRC has also provided toilet facilities at the eight new stations.
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