Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated India's first driver-less train on Delhi Metro's Magenta Line. He also launched the National Common Mobility Card, an inter-operable transport facility that allows users to pay for travel, toll duties, retail shopping, and withdraw money using one card.
The driver-less trains will be fully automated, eliminating the possibility of human error, officials say. The service will be available on Delhi Metro's Magenta Line which connects Janakpuri West in West Delhi to Botanical Garden in Noida. This will be extended to Delhi Metro's Pink Line (Majlis Park-Shiv Vihar) by mid-2021.
"The inauguration of the first driver-less metro train shows how fast India is moving towards smart systems," Prime Minister Modi said inaugurating the ground-breaking project today during a virtual function. "The first Metro in Delhi was started with the efforts of Atal (Bihari Vajpayee) ji. When our govt was formed in 2014, only five cities had metro services and today 18 cities have Metro rail service. By 2025, we will take this service to more than 25 cities."
Prime Minister Modi also said that in 2014, only 248 kilometres of Metro lines were operational in the country, while today it was about three times more than; by 2025, he said, the government was trying to expand it to 1700 kilometres.
With these new trains, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation will enter the elite league of 7 per cent of the world's Metro networks that can operate without drivers, according to an official release.
Earlier, the Prime Minister said, there was not much attention paid to the future and half-hearted work was done even as confusion persisted. "Unlike this, modern thinking says urbanisation should not be seen as a challenge and used as an opportunity. An opportunity in which we can build better infrastructure in the country. An opportunity through which we can increase Ease of Living. This difference of thinking is seen in every dimension of urbanisation," said PM Modi.
The National Common Mobility Card, which will be fully operationalised on Delhi Metro's Airport Express Line, will enable anyone carrying a RuPay-Debit Card issued from any part of the country to travel on the route. The facility will be available on the entire Delhi Metro network by 2022, the PMO has said, according to PTI.
Referring to today's launches as "next-generation infrastructure for Delhi", Prime Minister Modi sought to showcase them as examples of his flagship "Make In India" scheme.
"Make In India is very important for the expansion of Metro services. It reduces cost, savings foreign currency and provides more employment to Indian people," the Prime Minister said.