After a crisis-ridden 2010, the year 2011 was comparatively a smooth ride for the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). Moreover, DMRC's ninth year of operations was a year in which the Metro network surpassed itself.
The year started with the launch of the high-speed Airport Metro Express. DMRC also added 100 six-coach trains to decongest the Noida-Dwarka and Jahangirpuri-Gurgaon lines. "This was a year of transition. We started to move towards phase 3 after the successful completion of phase 2," said Anuj Dayal, DMRC spokesperson.
The Metro network also recorded its highest ever ridership of 20 lakh passengers in 2011. Last year, its highest ridership was a little over 16 lakh.Other major highlights of the year include extension of the Central Secretariat-Sarita Vihar corridor to Badarpur (5km), entering yet another satellite town — this time Ghaziabad — and opening the Kirti Nagar-Ashok Park Main link (3.32km).
The DMRC also began work on Phase 3 expansion this year.
Delhi to bid adieu to Metro man
The last day of the year will also be the last day of DMRC chief E Sreedharan's long and fruitful professional career. The 79-year-old technocrat had joined the Delhi Metro in 1997 following the completion of a rather long stint with the Indian Railways.
Over the years, as the train network expanded across the NCR to cover 190km, Sreedharan's name became synonymous with that of the Delhi Metro.
Sreedharan has been associated with the Delhi Metro since its inception. Over the years, he was offered four service extensions by the Delhi government. It was only now that he was finally granted retirement, that too on his demand.
Sreedharan had offered to resign in July 2009 after a launching girder came crashing down at an elevated Metro construction site in Zamrudpur, killing six workers and injuring 15. Tragedy had struck the Delhi Metro network for the second time in eight months. Taking moral responsibility, Sreedharan had offered his resignation, which was rejected by the government.