New Delhi (Metro Rail News): The DMRC said on Wednesday that it might be that it becomes necessary for the Corporation to approach the government, especially for the deferment of JICA loan instalment for this financial year. The DMRC is improving its services keeping in mind the current scenario of Pandemic.
The Metro Rail News team had some queries made to the DMRC and the answers were provided by the DMRC. It discussed in detail about the different aspects of DMRC, the progress of its different projects and the metro journeys amid the Pandemic.
Here is the response from the DMRC along with our queries :-
It has been a long time after the government suspended the Metro services? How has the move affected the DMRC?
It has been an unprecedented crisis, where the metro services have been suspended for almost five months. There has been revenue loss on account of farebox and non-fare box revenue since then to the tune of around Rs. 9 crores daily.
It was reported by different media agencies that DMRC is going to resume its services after Independence Day. What has been the progress so far? How are you preparing the resume metro services?
We are keeping the system in good health and ready for the resumption of services as and when directed. We are waiting for the government’s further directions on the resumption of metro operations. Once permitted, full-fledged services can be resumed within two days with adherence to social distancing and other norms as necessary for the containment of COVID in Metro premises.
It has been in the news that the DMRC is going to change its fare collection system with enabling payments through any debit or credit card at the AFC gates. What is the reality of this news? Is the Metro Corporation going to make an overhaul of the existing system?
To promote digital transactions, the tender process is underway to implement Rupay based Credit/Debit card of banks for travel on a trial basis at Airport line only. Based on the performance/feedback of this new initiative on Airport Line once it is operational, its feasibility will be explored for all other lines. This is in line with the Government’s vision to promote and encourage the use of NCMC based Rupay card.
How has the lockdown and Pandemic affected DMRC? Is the pandemic going to hamper the progress of ongoing metro projects of the Corporation?
As a dynamic organization, we have been focusing equally on the operations as well as projects during this time. On the project front, we are making good progress on all the three approved corridors of the Phase – IV. We have commenced work on all the three corridors and have made steady progress despite the shortage of labour force.
What will be the major changes once Delhi Metro is opened up for passengers? How are you preparing for the resumption of the Metro services?
Our priority after resumption of operations will be on the safety of our passengers in view of the current pandemic. Social distancing norms, sanitization of metro stations and trains, wearing of masks by staff/passengers etc. will be the new changes.
The Coronavirus has already become a major health concern for the whole of the World. Do you think it is going to change the way of future infrastructural developments in metro projects? What are you doing nowadays to make an environment where changes of COVID spread are least? Are you currently implementing any such thing at your project sites?
DMRC is following all norms/guidelines as issued by the Government from time to time- be it our stations or sites for the containment of Covid-19. Metro forms the backbone of Mass Rapid Transit systems in urban areas in view of their high carrying capacity and as such it will continue to be essential in the future.
In these times of the Pandemic, what do you seek from the government? Is the DMRC looking for any government aid in recent future?
Yes, if situation warrants, DMRC may have to approach the government, especially for the deferment of JICA loan installment for this financial year.
The businesses across Delhi Metro network have experienced a huge loss, and they are demanding for rent waiver and other such initiatives by you? What are you going to do with them as due to non-operation of metro services, these businesses, whether small or big, have seen a sharp decline?
The retail parties using the metro real estate have made their representation and we are examining their concerns. A general manager-level committee has been constituted by DMRC, which would come out with its report on the quantum of compensation for the retailers.
In one of the recent developments, the Delhi Metro is set to have a station at a very big height along with it’s being proposed to run at a huge height? Can you please share a few more details about the progress of the matter and what position will it have when it comes to comparing the Delhi Metro with other major Metro networks of the world?
DMRC is going to scale new heights with the upcoming 28.09 km Jankapuri West –RK Ashram Marg corridor of its Phase IV. A viaduct of this corridor near Haiderpur Badli Mor will be built at 28 metres, the highest till date. This section will also see the highest –ever station. The rail level at Haiderpur Badli Mor will be more than the height of an eight-story building and the pier supporting the viaduct will be of 25 metres. This will be much higher than the current highest viaduct at Khaula Kuan, where the Pink Line passes at a height of 23.6 metres.
How has DMRC helped people in need during the Pandemic? Is DMRC taking any initiatives of social work around its major stations and depots?
As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, the DMRC has taken up a number of measures during the lockdown to reach out to the personnel who are extending their services to combat the COVID 19 pandemic.
Food distribution drives have been organized at areas such as Nigambodh Ghat, Bangla Sahib, Yamuna Bank and Garhi Mandu.
DMRC provided masks, sanitizers and some food items to the Covid Warriors mainly the Delhi Police personnel deployed at 70 barricades and manning PCRs.
DMRC has also contributed one day’s basic pay (As on April 2020) of its employees towards the PM CARES fund to tackle the Covid 19 pandemic. The DMRC has around 14,500 employees at present.
As the non-operation of the metro has created a non-revenue collection scenarios for Delhi Metro, are you thinking about any fare hike to gain the lost revenue?
No such plan at the moment.