New Delhi: The Delhi Metro, which is rapidly becoming the lifeline of the capital carrying some 16 lakh passengers daily, completed eight years in operation Friday with plans afoot to add more trains and increase the number of passengers.
The year 2010 was a huge hit as the daily commuters doubled during the Commonwealth Games Delhi hosted in October, particularly after authorities dedicated separate lanes for the Games vehicles, leading to traffic jams. Thousands of people switched over to the Metro at that time, a Delhi Metro official said.
The mass rapid transit network made its first journey Dec 24, 2002, as then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee flagged off the first Delhi Metro train.
Although the Metro is now jam-packed and its sleek image has been dented with frequent technical snags in the past few months, commuters still prefer it to other modes of transport. Many daily passengers complain that the Metro has become overcrowded in recent times.
Addressing this issue, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) inducted two six-coach trains on the Dwarka-Noida and Dwarka-Anand Vihar routes Thursday night.
According to DMRC, the move will ensure a comfortable ride for commuters, given the huge rush in the present four-coach trains. The additional coaches will be able to accommodate about 600 more passengers per trip.
At present, a four-coach train has a carrying capacity of 1,200-1,500 passengers. The six-coach train will be able to take in about 1,800-2,100 people per trip.
Delhi Metro now carries about 16 lakh passengers daily. With the introduction of six-coach trains, it aims to ferry 25 lakh people every day by October 2011, an official said.
"At present there are 188 trains but by the end of 2011 the total number of trains will be 208, out of which 113 will be four-coach trains," a DMRC official said.