Saturday, December 25, 2010

Life in a Metro

After a grand Christmas party last night Today afternoon I was coming back from my Bhabhi’s place in Gurgaon to my campus in Noida through the mass transit rail commonly called METRO .I reached the central hub of new Delhi called Rajiv chowk to change my train and found that my train was due in 3min50sec so I just stood there and was looking at the place. I was amazed to see swathes of people running around all over after departing from trains and heading for their destination and thousands waiting for their train. It was an absolute sight of ‘Organized Chaos’. Everywhere uber, modern and well dressed young boys and girls, polished office goers, rustic villagers and not to mention Punjabis running all around and here I was standing in the middle of this rush thinking Delhi has changed so much in few years. A mass transit system has metamorphosed culture, their life style and has become a part of their daily lives.

 Metro as well call it, was launched in Delhi in 2002 and before that the only means of local transportation was road transport which was inefficient, slow, inconvenient and very frustrating.A very good salaried middle class would find it very demeaning to travel by bus for work or with family and look at now in 2010, people of all classes are traveling together with dignity and peace in metro. This is really very interesting and so I did a quick math and tried to find the no of passengers who would be traveling in a day and used the logic of no of trains originating in 5mins on one line*no of lines*no of traveling hrs*no coaches*no of people in a coach and found that the figure comes out to be around 13lakhs which is 10%of Delhi’s population. It is incredible to know that 10%of Delhi’s population is traveling in Metro or so to speak each day the whole country of Mozambique or Dominican Republic country is being transported by Delhi metro such is the grandiosity of Metro.

Metro is fast, highly efficient, clean and well connected. What used to take 1.5hrs for an office goers to reach his office after his daily share of fight with heat and dust has now become pleasant air conditioned hassle free journey by Metro is 45mins.Due to this, people are traveling to lots of places, they are now well connected, they can change jobs easily and meet relatives frequently.

But their lies the challenge too. A recent report by McKinsey predicted that by 2030, India’s population will reach from today’s 50M to 550Million that means so many jobs will be created and so many people will need to travel. It is said that fossil fuels will be extinct by 2050 and already the international crude oil has jumped to more than 50%in few years. That means the government will have to ensure that it is able to provide cheap and efficient transportation to masses and having ability to handle demand surge.

With the baton in hands of E.Shreedharan we can say that we should be relaxed but the model needs to be scaled and replicated in other towns as well. If we want to realize our dreams of 11%GDP by 2011 than we must increase our transportation to boost trade and commerce.

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