Mangu Singh, who took over the reins of Delhi Metro as Managing Director from E. Sreedharan in 2011, is hopeful that new metro lines coming up in Delhi and recent innovations in the management of Delhi metro operations would benefit Delhi commuters and provide more comfortable commuting experience
There has been so much talk about making our transport system energy efficient. Delhi Metro is also planning to install solar panels at its stations to generate power. How much is it going to feed to the energy needs of Delhi Metro?
Delhi Metro has already commissioned over 6 MW of solar power and has awarded contracts for another 20 MW. As per an MoU with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), an off- site solar power plant would also be established from where DMRC would get power directly. Such a site has already been identified in Madhya Pradesh where a solar plant with capacity of 750 MW is being planned. Through these initiatives we hope to reduce our reliance on the non-renewable sources of power.
Delhi Metro is a model for many small and mid-sized cities that are going to run Metros in their respective cities. How many cities is DMRC helping in executing their Metro projects?
We have constructed a 9.25 km long Metro corridor in Jaipur. We are currently engaged in carrying out construction in NOIDA – Greater NOIDA, Kochi and have been assigned the work in Mumbai and Vijayawada. These apart, we also are the consultant for almost every other Metro system in the country including the ones already commissioned such as Bengaluru, Mumbai and Chennai.
If all the lines proposed are completed in time, Delhi Metro would have a larger network than London Tube that has a long history. How do you take it or do such figures burden you with more responsibility?
Once the current phase is completed, we will have a Metro network of about 350 kilometres. Yes, it is a huge responsibility but DMRC has today become a structured organization where we are equipped to handle such high volumes of traffic and operational requirements. Our recruitment policies are transparent and time bound and there are specific training modules for all profiles. This helps us prepare adequate manpower for the new corridors. With progress of work, we also float tenders for all ancillary requirements parallely so that no time is lost. Delhi is a fast growing city and the Metro system here must compliment the growth.
Smart Mobility Cards are popular in most of the global cities. What is your opinion on the cards like Oyster? Do you think India would take more time to start such a facility for its commuters?
Ticketing in the Delhi Metro system is card based and smart cards have been in use here for many years nsow. Our fare collection system has provision to deal with multiple operators/ agencies. Others need to join DMRC system. We are prepared to welcome any such initiative whenever it is introduced.
Please tell us more about recently launched driver-less trains and new coaches introduced.
We are introducing trains capable of running on the ‘Unattended Train Operations (UTO)’ mode in the next phase. With these trains Delhi Metro will indeed take a quantum leap in terms of using the latest technologies. These trains will initially run with drivers but will eventually shift to the ‘driverless’ mode. These trains will be more energy efficient, will have better seating, air conditioning and LED displays. We also plan to provide Wi-Fi facilities inside the trains.
What are the major problems you face in running Delhi Metro?
Carrying close to three million people every day is indeed a challenge. But as mentioned before, we have the necessary structure in place to handle such high traffic volumes and all types of exigencies that may occur. Running Delhi Metro is akin to fulfilling the dreams of millions and we do this every day with a great deal of pride and passion.