A day after Environment Minister Gopal Rai presided over a high-level meeting to enforce Stage II of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has announced its commitment to add 40 extra train trips on weekdays across the Metro network, commencing from Wednesday, October 25, 2023, in compliance with the directives.
Anuj Dayal, the Principal Executive Director of Corporate Communications at DMRC, conveyed, “As part of the various measures initiated by the Delhi government to combat pollution under Stage-II of GRAP, DMRC will introduce 40 additional train trips on weekdays (Monday to Friday) throughout its network. This move is aimed at encouraging greater utilization of public transportation by commuters in Delhi-NCR.”
Notably, DMRC did not specify the anticipated reduction in waiting times following the introduction of these 40 additional train trips. It’s worth noting that DMRC already operates over 4,300 train trips daily within its extensive Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR) network, and the addition of 40 trips, while significant, may not lead to a substantial impact.
An anonymous Metro official disclosed that train frequencies currently range from approximately two minutes on the Yellow Line (Millennium City Centre to Samaypur Badli) to approximately 10 minutes on the Airport Express Line (New Delhi to Yashobhoomi Dwarka Sector 25).
Stage II of GRAP was implemented citywide on Saturday, prompted by forecasts of declining air quality to the “very poor” category. This stage incorporates 11 measures, including the expansion of the bus fleet and an increase in the frequency of Metro services.
DMRC operates a 393-kilometer network that spans Delhi-NCR and encompasses 12 Metro lines, including the Rapid Metro in Gurugram and the Aqua Line in Noida, with a total of 288 Metro stations.
On Monday, Delhi’s Environment Minister, Gopal Rai, chaired a high-level meeting to assess the readiness of various agencies and departments to enforce GRAP Stage II. Rai also directed both DMRC and the Transport Department to enhance the frequency of Metro and bus services.
Rai affirmed, “We have decided to increase the frequency of Metro and DTC buses under GRAP. DMRC has been instructed to reduce the interval to 5-6 minutes wherever the frequency is currently 7-8 minutes.”
Stage II of GRAP was invoked by the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) on Saturday, as air quality deteriorated in the capital, registering an AQI reading of “poor.” This winter season, Delhi has experienced only one day with “very poor” air quality, which occurred on Sunday with an AQI of 313.
The measures associated with Stage II encompass stringent enforcement of the ban on diesel generator sets, ensuring uninterrupted power supply throughout the NCR, raising parking fees to discourage private transportation use, and expanding the bus and Metro services through the introduction of additional fleets, among other actions.