Metro to cover whole of Delhi by 2021: Sreedharan

New Delhi: Delhi Metro will cover the whole of the capital in the next ten years and its effort would be to keep the fares minimal to make the modern transport system "very popular" and "affordable" to all.

The Phase-III, work on which has already started, will cover 103-km, the Phase-IV will bring another 104-km of the capital under the Metro map and a Phase-V may be required as the city is expanding, Delhi Metro chief E Sreedharan said.

He also said Metro is the only viable and cheapest mode of modern transport network that would reduce congestion in densely populated cities of the country.

"Metro should cover the whole of the city. For this, Phase-III should be completed and then Phase-IV should also be completed. 2021 is our target (for connecting entire Delhi) that means another 10 years," he told news agency in an interview.

Asked how much of Delhi would the Metro cover, he said: "More or less the entire city we would cover. The city is expanding and population is increasing."

By the time the Phase-IV is completed in 2021, Sreedharan said, the Delhi Metro may have to redraw its plans as Phase-V would be required.

"It has to be a continous Metro building in Delhi to cope up with the population increase," he said.

However, the 'Metro Man' ruled out increase in passenger fare for the next one year unless the inflation is so high that "we have to make up for our expenditure."

"We have not thought of any revision. I don't think we will raise the fare for another one year unless the inflation is so high that we have to make up for our expenditure," he said in response to a query in this regard.

"We have no intention to increase the fares as it is although many people are prepared to pay more. We want to make it very popular, affordable so that people come away from the roads to the Metro," Sreedharan said. Once the Phase-IV is completed in 2021, Delhi Metro would have a network of 440 km overtaking London's Underground.

The 'Metro Man' also took a dig at the Delhi Master Plan 2021 calling it a "very negative one" as it does not allow vertical growth of the national capital.

"Delhi is a city which is spreading horizontally not vertically. Delhi doesn't have many multi-storied buildings. The master plan is a very negative type of a master plan and the Urban Development Minister has given adverse comments on Delhi Master plan," he said.

Contending that the city should grow vertically, Sreedharan said that would allow the Metro to serve more number of people.

"Since the growth is horizontal (in Delhi), that is why the intensity of Metro network takes time. In other cities, so many line will criss-cross the entire city. Here some of our lines are 48 and 49 kms long," he said.

He also said he was expecting that the Master Plan will be changed and another two-three years time the vertical growth will be possible. "We need to have multi-storied buildings," he said.

The Delhi metro chief also said efforts were on to expand the existing four and six coach trains to eight coach ones to meet the ever-increasing ridership.

"We have already placed orders for eight-coach trains and they will start coming to us by September next year. By the end of next year, congested lines like Line 2 (Gurgaon Corridor) and Line 3 (Dwarka-Noida/Anand Vihar Line) will have eight coach trains," he said.