The Delhi Metro can be called the throbbing pulse of the city. I shudder to think what will happen if it comes to a halt one day without preamble. Delhi Metro, even after so many years, seems like a larger than life phenomenon. The fact that it is the first metro in India and that it has surpassed all expectations makes it a wonder in itself. The present generation has gotten so used to its benefits that they would have trouble ever remembering Delhi without the Metro.

The recent hullabaloo concerning the rising number of accidents relating to DMRC made me wonder if we weren’t being a tad unfair. After all, the accident rate of DMRC is still considerably low compared to international standards.  Singapore has 1.1 accidents per million man-hours, London Underground has 0.32 accidents and Delhi Metro Phase-II has 0.4 accidents. This is what DMRC Director E. Sreedharan claims. What are a few people dead here and a few there when the greater good is at stake? Well this, precisely, is what is wrong with it.

E. Sreedharan has given us an engineering marvel. The Metro gives the Mango Man convenience and comfort. Enough accolades can not be given to DMRC for making life easier in these tumultuous times. So, when there is so much right with the Metro, with the Chief, then why must it suffer from these petty flaws? There is nothing major wrong with the construction and planning. The 18 cracks that have been found in the bridges are not serious in nature according to DMRC reports.  Shirish Patel and Associates have now been mandated to recheck the design of all the 18 points in detail, apart from an overall checking of Phase-II structures.

I think the DMRC needs to puff out their chests and get a spring in their step. They’d do well to pick up their tools, set the faults right and reassure the public that their favourite transport is still very much safe. Other than this, the Metro stations lack basic amenities like public toilets and drinking water. These are the small things which are impeding the Metro from becoming a world class transport system and giving the public first class satisfaction.

Radhika Marwah