In an attempt to deal with increasing footfalls, Delhi Metro has decided to add four coaches each to its 31 four-coach trains by the end of 2012.
Over the last year, the increase in frequency to cope with the growing problem of overcrowding had led to repeated power tripping and damage to the signaling system of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
On Monday, sources said, DMRC chief E Sreedharan told a Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development that DMRC would introduce eight-coach trains.
These eight coach trains would be introduced on two of the busiest lines, Noida-Dwarka and Yamuna Bank–Vaishali stretches, which together carry over 12 lakh commuters daily.
Delhi Metro had initially planned to introduce eight coach trains on the proposed phase 3 network.
However, owing to the heavy commuter traffic, it has decided to introduce the eight-coach trains on these two broad
“We have placed orders for 136 coaches. By end 2012, these eight-coach trains would ply on Dwarka-Noida and Yamuna Bank-Vaishali lines,” said a DMRC spokesperson.
But this may not be enough to cope with the growing number of commuters. Sreedharan told Hindustan Times, “We also plan to operate trains at a frequency of 2.30min by this year-end, instead of the current gap of 2.40min.”
However, going by previous experience, experts are wary about the step.
The increase in frequency ahead of the Commonwealth Games in 2010, had led to repeated power tripping and damage to the signaling system.
“Adding coaches on broad gauge corridors is a better move to cope with commuter pressure rather than increasing service frequency,” said KK Gokhale, a railway expert and former managing director of Konkan Railway.
The total number of Delhi Metro commuters had crossed the 18lakh-mark last week. DMRC’s detailed project report for phase 2 indicates that the numbers could rise to 20lakh by the end of this year.