New Delhi, December 27: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate India's first-ever driverless train operations on the Delhi Metro's Magenta Line (Janakpuri West-Botanical Garden) on Monday.
He will also launch the fully operational National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) services on the Airport Express Line via video conferencing tomorrow at 11 am. "These innovations are going to herald a new era of travelling comfort and enhanced mobility for the National Capital Region (NCR)'s residents. With the commencement of driverless trains on the Delhi Metro's Magenta Line, DMRC will enter the elite league of seven per cent of world's Metro networks which can operate without drivers," read an official release.
After starting driverless services on the 37-kilometre long Magenta Line (Janakpuri West - Botanical Garden), another major corridor of the Delhi Metro, the 57-kilometre long Pink Line (Majlis Park - Shiv Vihar) will also have driverless operations by the mid of 2021, it said.
After this, Delhi Metro will have a driverless network length of about 94 kilometres, which will be approximately nine per cent of the world's total driverless metro network.
The National Common Mobility Card, which will be fully operationalised on the Airport Express Line will also be a major milestone as anyone carrying a RuPay -Debit Card issued recently in the last 18 months by 23 banks (all these are NCMC compliant as per directions of the Department of Financial Services, Government of India) from any part of the country will be able to travel on the Airport Express line using that card.
The same facility will become available on the entire Delhi Metro network by 2022.
The Delhi Metro currently operates on a network of about 390 kilometres with 285 stations spanning 11 corridors (including Noida-Greater Noida).
Pre-Covid, about 60 lakh journeys were being performed every day on the Delhi Metro network making it the mass transportation backbone of the National Capital Region (NCR).
According to the release, in 2014, only 248 kilometres of Metro lines were operational in five cities, presently 702 kilometres of Metro lines are operational in 18 cities in India.
"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 kilometres which will carry more than a crore passengers every day," it said.