Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s first-ever driverless train operations on Delhi Metro’s Magenta Line today through a video conference. Today the National Common Mobility Card was expanded to the Airport Express Line of Delhi Metro.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister termed today’s event as an attempt to make urban development future ready. He said preparing the country for future needs is an important responsibility of governance. He lamented the fact that a few decades ago, when the demand of urbanisation was felt, there was not much attention given to the needs of the future, half-hearted work was done and confusion persisted. He said unlike this, modern thinking says that urbanization should not be seen as a challenge but used as an opportunity to build better infrastructure in the country, an opportunity through which we can enhance Ease of Living. He said this difference of thinking is seen now in every dimension of urbanization. He added that in 2014, only 5 cities had metro rail and today, metro rail is available in 18 cities. By the year 2025, we are going to expand it to more than 25 cities. In 2014, only 248 km of metro lines were operational in the country and today it is about three times, more than 700 kilometers. By the year 2025, we are trying to expand it to 1700 km. He stressed that these are not just figures, they are proof of ease of living in the lives of crores of Indians. These are not just infrastructures made of brick and stone, concrete and iron, but are evidence of the fulfillment of the aspirations of the citizens of the country, the middle class of the country.
The Prime Minister said the metro today is no longer just a medium of public transport but a great way to reduce pollution. Thousands of vehicles have been reduced from the road due to the metro network, which used to cause pollution and jam.
The Prime Minister said for the expansion of metro services, Make in India is important. Make in India reduces costs, saves foreign exchange, and gives more employment to people in the country itself. He stressed that standardization of rolling stock has reduced the cost of every coach from 12 crores to 8 crores now. Today, four big companies are manufacturing metro coaches in the country and dozens of companies are engaged in the manufacture of metro components. This is helping Make in India as well as the campaign for self-reliant India.
The Prime Minister said with the achievement of Metro Rail without a driver, our country has joined the select countries of the world where such facilities are available. He said a braking system in which 50 percent of the energy goes back into the grid when the brakes are applied are being used. Today 130 MW of solar power is being used in metro rail, which will be increased to 600 MW.