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HindustanTimes Fri,28 Nov 2014

DMRC to improve services on Airport line

Subhendu Ray, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 29, 2013
First Published: 21:10 IST(29/6/2013) | Last Updated: 00:35 IST(30/6/2013)
Taking over operations of the Airport Express Line from the DAMEPL -- a subisidiary of Reliance Infrastructure and the concessionaire of the line -- the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is planning to take a number of measures to improve services.

The DMRC will conduct a comprehensive commuter-feedback survey on the 22.7km high-speed corridor.

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"Initially, we will run the trains as per the existing arrangements. But, we will soon bring in certain improvements in the services based on the commuter feedback," said Anuj Dayal, chief spokesperson, DMRC.

Sources in the DMRC indicated that it might consider fare reduction after settling all the financial and legal issues with the concessionaire. The DAMEPL on Thursday decided to snap ties with DMRC, citing losses.

Increasing the speed of trains on the express line would be another priority initiative, the sources added.

"It might take some time to initiate service improvement measures. These will be possible only after we renew the operation system," Dayal said.

Early this year, after the line re-opened with a restricted speed of 50 kmph, the DAMEPL had increased the fare twice -- in January by 50% and in March by R30. The hike made commuting on the line a costly affair. Services were disrupted on the line for more than six months beginning last July after major damages in the civil structure were detected.

The fare revisions, which were described by many as the most unfriendly measure, forced commuters to switch from Airport Metro to other modes of transport.

Happy with the proposed arrangement they have expressed the hope that in DMRC's hand the Metro services on the line, which has had a rough and controversial ride for the past two years, would significantly improve.

"At last we are free from the clutches of a private company. We hope that the DMRC will run the trains more effectively and professionally. The DMRC must consider rationalising the fare and increasing ridership," said M Viswanathan of Dwarka Sector 14, a daily Metro commuter.

According to S Iyer, a member of Dwarka Forum, an NGO, "It's DMRC which can run it efficiently, profitably and make it commuter-friendly."


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