Delhi Metro Project
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Delhi became the capital of India in 1911. In those days, it was a clean, beautiful city where everyone loved to live. Over the years, the city has undergone a sea change. Made initially to cater to a population of 70,000, the total urban population of Delhi is now around 15 million. As cities grow in size, the number of motor vehicles and consequently the number of vehicular trips on road systems go up, leading to severe congestion on the roads. In such a scenario, if the public transportation system of the city is not robust, the problem gets further accentuated. The city of Delhi has also witnessed a massive surge in population especially in the last couple of decades due to continuous migration from the rest of the country. As a result the city limits have expanded to the nearby states necessitating the formation of the National Capital Region. While the other major cities of the country like Mumbai and Kolkata have suburban railway systems as their transportation lifeline, the same arrangement somehow never attained much popularity in the Indian capital. The much ambitious Ring Railway was planned and constructed before the Asian Games of 1982 to provide rail connectivity to the major landmarks of the city. However, this initiative also failed to attract many commuters since it did not connect some of the city’s important landmarks. Therefore, Delhi, despite having better roads and other infrastructure in comparison to the country’s other cities, continued to struggle as far as public transportation was concerned. Buses were the only mode of travel for the people and it was never going to be possible to cater to such a huge population and geographical area only with a bus system. This situation led to a rapid increase in the number of passenger vehicles in the city as people preferred to arrange their own transportation rather than depend on the inadequate bus network. More than a thousand cars were being added to the city every day, which was choking Delhi’s roads adversely leading to huge traffic jams and parking troubles. In addition, another major issue was the tremendous spurt in vehicular pollution which made Delhi one of the most polluted urban centres across the world. The bold decision to change all city buses, auto rickshaws and taxis into Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) mode improved the state of affairs but pollution still remained a major challenge. This necessitated a pragmatic policy shift to discourage private modes of transportation and encourage public transport, once the level of traffic along any travel corridor in one direction exceeds 20,000 persons per hour. After many round of studies and deliberations, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) was constituted as a company in 1995 mandated with the task of constructing as well as operating a modern Mass Rapid Transit system in the city.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The beginning of Metro services in Delhi was actually preceded by almost 32 years of planning and deliberations. Way back in 1969-70, a Mass Rapid Transit Network for Delhi was recommended. Subsequently, many more such studies and surveys were conducted and Metro networks of varying proportions were proposed. For example, in the year 1984, the Delhi Development Authority prepared a perspective plan for the city keeping in view traffic projections for 2001 and recommended a multi-modal transport system comprising 200 km of light rail transit system, 10 km of tramway, an extension to the surface rail system and an extensive road network. Then in 1987, the Ministry of Railways appointed a Task Force to assess the choice of technology and recommended a pilot project based on the Magnetic Levitation System and Light Rail Transit System. In 1990, RITES Limited submitted a feasibility report on the Integrated Multi Modal Mass Rapid Transport System (IMMRTS) recommending a three-component system comprising Rail corridors, Metro corridors and dedicated Bus Way with a total length of 184.5 km, subsequently increased to 198.5 km. Finally in 1995, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) was registered as a joint venture company of the Government of India and the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi, with the mandate of the constructing and operating a Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) in the national capital of India. The DMRC opened its first corridor between Shahdara and Tis Hazari on the 25th of December, 2002. Subsequently, the first phase of construction worth 65 kilometres of Metro lines was finished two years and nine months ahead of schedule in 2005. Since then the DMRC has also completed the construction of another 125 kilometres of Metro corridors under the second phase in only four and a half years. Presently, the Delhi Metro network consists of about 193 operational kilometres with 140 stations along with six more stations of the Airport Express Link. The network has now crossed the boundaries of Delhi to reach NOIDA and Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh and Gurgaon in Haryana. The Airport Express link between the Indira Gandhi International Airport and New Delhi has now propelled Delhi to the league of global cities which have high speed rail connectivity between the city and the airport. The DMRC today has about 200 train sets of four, six and eight coaches. More than a hundred trains of six coach configuration and over 60 trains of eight coach configuration are currently operational. The Delhi Metro has emerged as the primary mode of public transport for the people of the National Capital Region. On an average it carries about 2.4 million passengers on weekdays. After the completion of Delhi Metro’s Phase 3 projects, the ridership is expected to cross the 3.9 million mark. The Metro has not only helped reduce the number of vehicles on the streets, it has also helped reduce accidents as well as vehicular pollution. The Central Road Research Institute had conducted a study on this topic. The following are the findings: Descriptors Phase –I 2007 Phase –I & II 2011 Phase- I & II 2014* No. of vehicles off the road daily 16895 117249 390971 Annual reduction in fuel consumption (t) 24691 106493 276000 Annual reduction in pollutants (t) 31520 179613 577148 Savings in time per trip (minutes) 31 28 32 Annual reduction in fatal accidents (No.) 21 111 125 Annual reduction in all accidents (No.) 93 591 937 Today, the issue of intra-connectivity within the NCR has been largely solved. People now commute without hassles between Gurgaon and NOIDA and the old Delhi areas have again become favorite shopping as well as tourist destinations for the people. After the completion of Phase 3, Delhi Metro will reach new areas in old Delhi, NOIDA and Ghaziabad apart from being the satellite cities of Faridabad and Bahadurgarh, which will make commuting even more easy for the people.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
The initiative can be termed creative as well as innovative simply because for the first time in India, a number of new project implementation techniques were adopted. The red tape usually associated with government projects was completely eliminated by involving the contractor as a stakeholder. All pending issues were discussed by the Managing Director at weekly meetings and immediate decisions were taken to eliminate the delay caused by paper work. More technology based solutions such as e-tendering and e-payments were introduced to make the process faster. The entire construction process was also pro people as the officials continuously interacted with the local residents while carrying out construction work. All their suggestions, grievances etc were immediately listened to and addressed. More than 200 Community Interaction Programmes have been organized so far to interact with such stakeholders. Once the Metro services were started in 2002, many people were not well versed with the Metro system. Therefore street plays popularly known as ‘Nukkad Natak’ were also organized to train commuters about new facilities such as escalators, lifts, AFC gates etc. These plays helped a lot in addressing initial issues such as stone pelting on trains, kite flying near the over head electrification wires etc. The project has always taken great care of the environment. For every tree cut for construction, DMRC plants 10 trees as compensatory aforestation. Some plants have also been transplanted wherever possible. To ensure that there is no inconvenience to the people around during construction, barricades and sound barriers are installed wherever necessary. The workers employed in the project have to undergo stringent training about the safety precautions.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The strategy implementation of the Delhi Metro project can be divided into two phases: Construction and operation. Construction phase: The construction work of the Delhi Metro project was started in the year 1998. Right from that stage there were multiple challenges that threatened to derail the project and make its future uncertain. Therefore, certain project implementation strategies were taken to ensure the timely completion of the project: • Elimination of red tape: Right from the beginning it was decided that certain procedures such as elaborate paper work would be kept to minimal. The then Managing Director of the organization, Dr. E Sreedharan would conduct weekly meetings with all Heads of Departments on Mondays and take immediate decisions. Weekly targets would be set and the same would be reviewed next week. On weekends the Managing Director and the Directors would inspect the sites and give the necessary instructions. Punctuality during office hours was accorded the highest importance and stress was laid on establishing a professional work culture. • Involvement of contractors: The contractors involved in construction work were made stakeholders in the decision making process. While a strict vigil was maintained to ensure quality, their grievances were addressed and efforts were made to make the payments on time to keep their morale high. • Time bound construction schedule: Adherence to time schedules was given utmost importance. Every office of DMRC would have a countdown clock which would remind officials about the time left for the scheduled opening of a corridor. Apart from the official target, internal targets were set which were earlier than the official target. This apart weekly and monthly, small targets were set to ensure that the pace of construction never lost momentum. • Community involvement: Probably for the first time in the history of India, the common man was made an equal stakeholder in the entire construction process. More than 200 Community Interaction Programmes have been organized so far to listen to the grievances and suggestions of the residents in whose area the construction work took place. Barricades were made mandatory at all sites and traffic marshals were deputed wherever required to guide the traffic. • Labour Welfare: Great focus was laid on the welfare of the labour involved because DMRC firmly believed that having a satisfied work force was key to the rapid completion of the project. Street plays were organized to sensitize the labourers about issues such as health, sanitation, site safety, etiquettes etc. Operations phase: The services of the Delhi Metro were started from the 25th of December, 2002. Right from the beginning of services, certain decisions were taken to keep the services efficient: • Lean workforce: To keep the finances in control, a decision was taken to maintain a lean work force. While the core competence areas such as operations, maintenance etc were kept with Delhi Metro, some other ancillary sectors such as ticketing, house keeping etc were outsourced. • Punctuality: The timely operation of services has always been accorded the highest priority. In Delhi Metro, any train that reaches its destination a minute late is considered behind schedule. despite such stringent norms, Delhi Metro maintains a punctuality rate of over 99.9 percent. • Quality housekeeping: The cleanliness of the entire Delhi Metro system has always been maintained with great sincerity. It has made such a difference to the society now that who ever travels by the Metro in Delhi behaves with great responsibility and doesn’t litter the system.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The Delhi Metro project could never have been successful without the committed involvement of a number of stakeholders. The company was established as a joint venture of the Government of India and the provincial Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. Both these governments have extended unstinted support to the project right since the beginning. That apart, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), a Japanese lending agency has extended soft loans for the project since the inaugural phase to the current third phase of construction. DMRC’s first Managing Director, Dr. E Sreedharan was at the helm of the organization for than a decade and effectively led the team to complete the work within time budgetary constraints. DMRC’s present Managing Director, Sh. Mangu Singh has also led the organization from the front. Apart from ensuring timely progress of construction, he has introduced many technology driven initiatives such as online recharge of smart cards, Delhi Metro App etc. Last but not the least, the people of the city have been a major stakeholder ever since the beginning of construction in 1998. They have cooperated with DMRC during all stages of construction work.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The Delhi Metro project couldn’t have been successful without the timely availability and mobilization of a number of resources – financial, technical as well as manpower related. All these resources were available in proper coordination which facilitated the completion of most of the corridors before the stipulated time. Ever since the beginning of the project in 1998, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has received liberal funding from the Japanese lending agency – Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). While in Phase 1 JICA’s funding was 60 percent of the entire project cost, in the subsequent phases, about a half of the project cost has been provided by JICA, which has ensured that the Delhi Metro projects have not been slowed down at any stage due to the requirement of funds. On the technical front, may international companies and consultants have been associated with the project to ensure that the best technologies are used for the project. General Consultants, a consortium of foreign experts has remained associated with the Delhi Metro right since the beginning who have given our engineers the international exposure and perspective required to carry out such projects of mammoth proportions. Now, of course, Delhi Metro has gained the requisite expertise and is providing consultancy to not only the other upcoming Metro systems in India but also to the Metros coming up in other countries of the region such as Jakarta and Dhaka. Another vital resource for the Delhi Metro project has been its manpower. Today, Delhi Metro employs more than 8,000 people and is one of the main public sector recruiters in the country. Employees are provided in house training after they join and are made acquainted with all the aspects of the functioning of the Delhi Metro. Since the Delhi Metro is an extremely technology driven system, great stress is laid on the importance of training the recruits. When the Delhi Metro project was started, the initial recruits were sent to a number of foreign countries where Metro systems were already operational. However, those trips were not leisure visits and the trainees were made to work extremely hard to take a grasp of the ever evolving Metro technology. Then gradually a state of the art training institute was developed by the Delhi Metro management, which now has the requisite expertise and infrastructure to train DMRC’s human resources with all aspects of Metro functioning. In fact, now Delhi Metro’s training institute situated in a sprawling campus at Shastri Park imparts training to the recruits all other Metro systems in India such as Jaipur, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru etc.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
The Delhi Metro project yielded many successful outputs. In many ways, its success actually revolutionized and energized the mass urban transportation scenario of India, which was facing difficulties in tackling issues such as rapid increase in population, congestion of the streets etc. • Change in transportation scenario in India’s capital: the Delhi Metro simply changed the way Delhi travels. Areas which were hitherto, inaccessible became well connected and the city could expand faster. Now the congested streets of the city have become decongested as many car users have shifted to the Metro. • Motivation to other cities for constructing Metro systems: Following Delhi Metro’s success, many other cities of the country have gone for their own Metro systems. While Bengaluru and Mumbai have operationalised small corridors, other cities like Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur are on the verge of completing construction work. The present government is planning to encourage all cities with populations of more than 10 lakhs to go for Metro systems. • Training of specialized manpower: When the Delhi Metro started, there was dearth of specialized manpower to run a system like the Metro. However, Delhi Metro started a state of the art training institute that today imparts training to Metro recruits of all Metro systems in the country. • Focus towards cleanliness and discipline in public transport: Right from the beginning attention was paid to keeping the system neat and clean. Such efforts from the Metro management triggered a chain effect among the commuters who now take equal interest in keeping the Metro clean. This has instilled greater awareness among the people about cleanliness and etiquettes. • Reduction in travel time: The Delhi Metro has significantly reduced travel time within the city. On stretches, where commuting by road used to take two hours can now be covered in half the time without any pollution or traffic snarls.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
Continuous monitoring and evaluation of the performance of the project is extremely crucial for bringing in new changes. In order to gauge the feedback of the passengers, a commuter satisfaction survey is conducted every year during which questionnaires are circulated among more than 100,000 commuters cutting across all genders, age groups and social groups. This apart, Delhi Metro also has a feedback section on its official website through which the commuters can communicate their grievances as well as feedback to the Delhi Metro authorities. All Metro stations also have feedback/ complaint registers through which the opinions, views of the people can be collected. Last year, Delhi Metro also conducted another online survey of the commuters in association with the global Metro benchmarking groups – NOVA and CoMET. This survey was simultaneously conducted in 18 other Metro systems across the world. In this survey, Delhi Metro was ranked second among all Metros in terms of overall customer satisfaction. Apart from the Operations activities, Delhi Metro is also engaged in large scale construction work. Presently, it is engaged in constructing 150 kilometres of Metro corridors across the National Capital Region. These projects are also time bound since Delhi is in urgent need for a more wide Metro network. In addition, there is the need to complete these projects without any escalation in the costs involved. Therefore, the construction work also requires continuous monitoring. The Managing Director of the company meets the Heads of Departments every Monday and reviews the progress of the project. He also meets the deputy heads of departments once every month. Any pending issue that may delay the pace of construction is immediately sorted. The Managing Director and the Directors also conduct surprise inspections at the construction sites to ensure that the work is done following all rules and procedures. A separate safety department is also at work which monitors the adherence to all safety related rules and regulations.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
In any large scale infrastructure assignment like the Delhi Metro, there are bound to be obstacles and hindrances. However, thanks to the Delhi Metro’s unique management practices, they could be overcome without causing any delay to the project. Let us have a look at some of the issues, which were confronted by the Delhi Metro management: • Timely availability of land: In a crowded urban conglomerate like the Delhi and the entire National Capital Region, acquisition of land is always a difficult task as there is practically no land left for construction, especially of the stations, depots and other ancillary buildings. Such unavailability can badly delay the progress of a project. therefore, the Delhi Metro management decided to use more and more government land so that residential and market areas are not impacted. Large scale changes were brought to the design of the system so that areas such as road medians could be effectively used to take the alignment forwards. In the congested areas, underground construction was carried out so that the people above were not displaced. • Construction work on roads and other crowded areas: Carrying out construction work on road medians, near market areas can be very difficult as such work hampers traffic and causes inconvenience to the pedestrians as well as vehicle users around. Therefore, DMRC, for the first time in India, started the system of barricading the sites. traffic marshals were put at locations where traffic was required to be regulated. Community Interaction programmes were conducted to listen to the grievances of the people and address them. • Availability of trained personnel: Metro construction, as well as operation are technologically specialized jobs which require trained manpower. When the Delhi Metro was started, there was severe dearth of such manpower since, apart from Kolkata, no other city in India had a Metro system. Therefore, the initial recruits were sent to cities across the world to see the Metro systems there and gain the requisite expertise. Then, a state of the art training institute was started by Delhi Metro which today trains not only the Delhi Metro officials but Metro recruits of all other Metros in the country.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
The Delhi Metro project has had an overwhelming impact on the city. The main benefit that the project has given to its people is accessibility. With the passage of time, many satellite cities of the neighbouring states like Gurgaon and NOIDA had also turned into business hubs. However, connectivity to these places was pathetic. Delhi Metro today has changed that. Now commuters travel easily from Delhi to these cities and even between these cities without much hassle. There were some old areas of the city like Chandni Chowk and Chawri Bazar where there were many traditional markets but absolutely no parking space. Delhi Metro went to these areas and made them accessible. This apart, Delhi Metro has also helped in reducing many vehicles from the streets of the city as many private car users have shifted to the Metro for their commuting requirements. This has also resulted in reduction of pollution on the streets apart from decongestion. As per a study conducted by the Central Road Research Institute, an Indian government run research organization, the following benefits have already reached the people: (A) Quantified Benefits of Delhi Metro for Phase-I & II: Descriptors Phase –I 2007 Phase –I & II 2011 Phase- I & II 2014* No. of vehicles off the road daily 16895 117249 390971 Annual reduction in fuel consumption (t) 24691 106493 276000 Annual reduction in pollutants (t) 31520 179613 577148 Savings in time per trip (minutes) 31 28 32 Annual reduction in fatal accidents (No.) 21 111 125 Annual reduction in all accidents (No.) 93 591 937 *For ridership of 2.7 million (B) Benefits of Phase-I & II in the year 2014: Descriptors Phase –I & II 2014 Cost of saved time by metro passengers (Cr. `) 4,107 Cost of savings in fuel (Cr. `) 1,972# Saving of Vehicles (capital + Operating) cost (Cr. `) 2,617 Cost of less pollution saved (Cr. `) 489 Cost of accident saved (Cr. `) 63 Cost of time and fuel saved due to decongestion (Cr. `) 491 Cost of saved in annual infrastructure maintenance (Cr. `) 625 Total Cost of all Benefits (Cr. `) 10,364 #Figure after deducting the electricity charges. The Delhi Metro has also contributed tremendously on the environment front by becoming the first ever railway project in the world to claim carbon credits for regenerative braking. Recently, the DMRC has also been certified by the United Nations (UN) as the first Metro Rail and Rail based system in the world to get carbon Credits for reducing Green House gas emissions as it has helped to reduce pollution levels in the city by 6.3 lakh tons every year thus helping in reducing global warming. It has set up a roof top solar power plant at the Dwarka Sector 21 Metro station which is producing 500 kwp of power. Three more such plants are under construction with a capacity of 250 kwp. Similar plants will also come up at more Metro stations, parking spaces as well as residential areas. All stations of the upcoming third phase of expansion will also be designed as green buildings. Apart from the above, the Delhi Metro is also designing all its station buildings of Phase 3 as ‘Green Buildings’ so that the structures can also contribute towards the conservation of the environment.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The initiative is absolutely sustainable and transferable and holds the potential to completely transform the mass urban transportation scenario of the cities of India. While planning and executing the Delhi Metro system, crowded areas have been accorded priority. However, many areas which were not expanding fast due to inadequate communication were also covered. For example, the subcity of Dwarka in the south west of Delhi was not growing very fast since communication to the area was inadequate. However, with the expansion of the Metro, today this area is one of the most preferred residential areas in the city. Therefore, the focus has been on expanding the Metro system in such a way that it can cover and sustain the requirements of new areas which are getting rapidly urbanized. The same can also be said of the operational expertise of the organization. The ridership of Delhi Metro has increased gradually from a few thousands to almost three million today. In order to cater to the requirements, Delhi Metro has ensured a steady expansion of the network as well as increase in number of trains deployed. After starting with about 25 four coach trains, today Delhi Metro has a fleet of over 200 train sets of four, six and eight coaches. The structures of the Delhi Metro are all designed to have a life of over 100 years. To ensure that the system remains profitable, alternative sources of revenue generation such as property development, advertising space etc are being utilized. The project has also ensured greater environmental sustainability for the entire National Capital Region. According to a study by the Central Road Research Institute, India, it has helped remove close to 400,000 vehicles from the streets of the city and has helped remove over 500,000 tonnes of pollutants which is a major contribution. With the expansion of the network, these figures are only expected to increase providing more benefits to the people. The system is transferable as well. Delhi Metro is already acting as the consultant for about 20 upcoming Metro systems across the country as well as the near by countries such as Bangladesh and Indonesia. DMRC is sharing its expertise with the other Metro systems so that they can be benefited. While Bengaluru and Mumbai have operationalised small corridors, other cities like Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur are on the verge of completing construction work. In fact, DMRC is carrying out construction work also apart from providing consultancy to the Jaipur and Kochi Metro projects. The Delhi Metro is also working as consultant for the Dhaka and Jakarta Metro projects in Bangladesh and Indonesia respectively. Many other countries such as Mauritius, Sri Lanka have also shown their interest in the project management and execution expertise of the Delhi Metro. These developments clearly show that the Delhi Metro is also attempting to replicate its success story in the other cities of not only India abut other countries as well.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
The key learning from the success of the Delhi Metro project is that the mass transportation challenges of India’s ever expanding cities can be efficiently tacked by the time bound construction and professional operation of Metro systems. Metro systems have three distinct advantages – they do not occupy road space, they can carry a huge number of people at one go and they are non polluting. These qualities make the Metro the most potent answer to the problem of traffic congestion on the city’s streets. In Delhi, as per a study conducted by the Central Road Research Institute, more than 390,000 vehicles have been removed from the streets due to the services rendered by the Delhi Metro. In addition, more than 900 fatal accidents are also being avoided every year on the streets. The environmental benefits of the Metro are also tremendous. Today, the Delhi Metro has become the first ever railway organization in the world to claim carbon credits. DMRC is also working continuously to find ways to fulfill its power requirements on its own. Recently, a 500 kwp roof top solar power plant has been commissioned at the Dwarka Sector 21 Metro station. Three more such projects are already under commissioning. In addition, the success of the Delhi Metro has also proved that Metro systems can bring in great improvement in the quality of life of the common people. For the daily office goers and students in the big cities, a lot of time is often spent commuting. In Delhi, the Metro has ensured that the commuting time is minimal and comfortable with air conditioning and minimum external noise and dust. The Delhi Metro has also shown that large scale infrastructure projects involving a large number of men and machinery as well as different government departments/ authorities can also be completed within time and budgetary limitations by public sector establishments. By following stringent time bound construction schedules and a transparent relationship with its contractors, DMRC has been able to overcome innumerable challenges to finish all its projects within schedule. While the Phase 1 of the project comprising 65 kilometres of Metro lines was completed two years and nine months ahead of schedule, the second phase of Metro expansion of 125 kilometres was completed in only four and a half years. Delhi Metro today is an example for all other infrastructure projects in the country which often suffer from problems such as inordinate delays and budget overruns. Due to its success, the Delhi Metro has today sparked a Metro revolution across the country with at least 10 more cities planning or executing Metro projects. Some cities of the neighbouring countries like Dhaka are also constructing their own Metro systems now.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Delhi Metro Rail Corporation
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Anuj Dayal
Title:   ED/CC  
Telephone/ Fax:   011-23418415
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   1st Floor, Metro Bhawan, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, Barakhamba Road
Postal Code:   110001
City:   New Delhi
State/Province:   Delhi

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