Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on Monday flagged off the country’s first-ever fully-automated driverless train operations on the Magenta Line of the Delhi Metro via video conferencing.
Speaking at the event, Prime Minister Modi said that it was under the regime of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee that the first metro rail project was rolled out in the country. "In 2014, only 5 cities had metro rail. Today, metro rail has reached in 18 cities. By the year 2025, we are going to expand it to more than 25 cities," he said.
"In 2014, only 248 km of metro lines were operational in the country. Today, it is about three times at around seven hundred kilometres. By the year 2025, we are trying to expand it to 1700 km," he added.
He said that Make in India is extremely important for the expansion of metro services since it reduces costs, saves foreign exchange and gives more employment to citizens of the country.
"Standardisation of rolling stock has reduced the cost of every coach from Rs 12 crore to Rs 8 crore now," said PM.
The Prime Minister also launched the Common Mobility Card and said it is a major step in the modernisation of the country.
"Wherever you travel, whichever public transport you travel in, this one card will give you integrated access," he confirmed.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also attended the inauguration programme and the launch of fully operational National Common Mobility Card on the Airport Express Line.
The driverless trains, set to be a major technological feat, will “herald a new era of travelling comfort and enhanced mobility” for the residents of Delhi and other cities in the National Capital Region, the government said in an official statement.
With the commencement of these new-generation trains, the DMRC will enter the elite league of "seven per cent of the world's Metro networks" which can operate services without drivers, the Delhi Metro said in a statement on Sunday.
The commercial operation of these trains will begin later the same day, after the event, a senior Delhi Metro official said, PTI reported.
'Driverless trains a major technological milestone for DMRC'
"The driverless trains will be fully automated which will require minimum human intervention and will eliminate the possibilities of human errors. Delhi Metro has been a pioneer in introducing technology-driven solutions for passenger comfort and this is another step in the same direction," the statement said.
Once the driverless trains are operationalised on the Pink Link too, the Delhi Metro will have a driverless network length of about 94 km which will be approximately nine percent of the world’s total driverless metro network, it added.
The driverless train having six coaches is equipped with several advanced features.
The metro rail scenario in the entire nation has undergone a massive transformation in the last six years. While in 2014, only 248 km of metro lines were operational in five cities, presently 702 km are operational in 18 cities in India, the DMRC statement said.
"In the days to come, over a thousand kilometres of new lines shall be added and about 27 cities in the country will have metro connectivity. By 2022, when the nation celebrates its 75th Independence Day, India will have a combined metro network of over a thousand kilometre which will carry more than a crore passengers every day," it added