PM Narendra Modi inaugurates India’s first-ever driverless train operations on Delhi Metro line

The National Common Mobility Card, which was started in Ahmedabad in 2019, was expanded to the Airport Express Line of Delhi Metro on Monday.

PM Modi inaugurated India's first-ever driverless train operations on Delhi Metro line as an attempt to make urban development future-ready, on December 28, 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated India’s first-ever driverless train operations on Delhi Metro’s Magenta Line through a video conference. The National Common Mobility Card, which was started in Ahmedabad in 2019, was expanded to the Airport Express Line of Delhi Metro on Monday. The event was attended by Union Minister Hardeep Puri and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

“With the achievement of Metro Rail without a driver, our country has joined the select countries of the world where such facilities are available," the prime minister said, addressing the event.

Also, terming the launch of the driverless train operations as an attempt to make urban development future-ready, Modi said preparing the country for future needs is an important responsibility of governance.

“Modern thinking says that urbanization should not be seen as a challenge but used as an opportunity to build better infrastructure in the country, an opportunity through which we can enhance Ease of Living,” Modi said.

Pointing out that today India has metro rail in 18 cities from only five cities in 2014, Modi said, “By the year 2025, we are going to expand it to more than 25 cities”.

“In 2014, only 248 km of metro lines were operational in the country and today it is about three times, more than 700 kilometres. By the year 2025, we are trying to expand it to 1700 km. They are proof of ease of living in the lives of crores of Indians and evidence of the fulfilment of the aspirations of the citizens of the country,” he added.

Modi pointed out that the government formulated and implemented the metro policy with the focus on working according to local demand, promoting local standards, Make in India expansion and use of modern technology.

Noting that the expansion of the metro, modern modes of transport should be used according to the needs of the people of the city and the professional lifestyle there, Modi said this is the reason work is being done on different types of metro rail in different cities.

The prime minister mentioned different types of metro rail on which work is being carried out.

1. The Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) between Delhi and Meerut will reduce the distance of Delhi and Meerut to less than an hour.

2. In cities where passenger numbers are less, work is being done on the MetroLite version.

3. MetroLite version would be constructed at 40 per cent cost of normal metro.

4. Metro Neo is being carried out in cities where the ridership is less. It would be built at the cost of 25 per cent of the normal metro.

5. Water metro is now being built for cities where there are large water bodies. This will provide last mile connectivity to the people near the islands.

Modi said in a release by the PMO that the metro today is no longer just a medium of public transport but a great way to reduce pollution. Thousands of vehicles have been reduced from the road due to the metro network, which used to cause pollution and jam, he said.

For the expansion of metro services, Modi said ‘Make in India’ is important. Make in India reduces costs, saves foreign exchange, and gives more employment to people in the country itself. He stressed that standardization of rolling stock has reduced the cost of every coach from 12 crores to 8 crores now. Today, four big companies are manufacturing metro coaches in the country and dozens of companies are engaged in the manufacture of metro components. This is helping Make in India as well as the campaign for self-reliant India, he said.

In the driverless Metro Rail, a braking system in which 50 per cent of the energy goes back into the grid when the brakes are applied, is being used, the prime minister explained. Today 130 MW of solar power is being used in metro rail, which will be increased to 600 MW, he said.

The National Common Mobility Card

About the Common Mobility Card, Modi said that providing the same standards and facilities for modernization is very important. The Common Mobility Card at the national level is a major step in this direction. This one card will give integrated access to the commuters wherever they travel, whichever public transport they take, he said.

Taking the example of the Common Mobility Card, Modi dwelled on the process of consolidating all the systems. Through such consolidation of systems, the strength of the country is being harnessed in a more coordinated and efficient way.  “Like One Nation, One Mobility Card, our government has done many things in the past years to integrate the systems of the country,” Modi said.

Modi also said that “One Nation, One Fastag” has made travel seamless on highways across the country. This has saved commuters from jam and delays. One Nation, One Tax i.e. GST has ended the complications in the tax system and has brought uniformity in the indirect tax system.  One Nation, One Power Grid, is ensuring adequate and continuous power availability in every part of the country. Power loss is reduced, he said.

Citizens moving from one place to another have got freedom from the trouble of making new ration cards through One Nation, One Ration Card. Similarly, the country is moving in the direction of One Nation, One Agriculture Market due to new agricultural reforms and arrangements like e-NAM, the prime minister added.

100th Kisan Rail flagged off

Meanwhile, Modi also flagged off the 100th Kisan Rail from Sangola in Maharashtra to Shalimar in West Bengal via video conferencing on Monday. Union Ministers, Narendra Singh Tomar and Piyush Goyal were present on the occasion.

Modi termed the Kisan Rail Service as a major step towards increasing the income of the farmers of the country. As many as 100 Kisan Rails were launched in the last four months. This service will bring a major change in the economy related to farming and will increase the strength of the country's cold supply chain, the prime minister said.

“No minimum quantity has been fixed to transport through Kisan Rail so that, even the smallest produce will be able to reach the big market properly at a low price,” he said.

Kisan Rail is a mobile cold storage to move perishable things like fruits, vegetables, milk, fish, etc., with complete security. Perishable rail cargo centres are being constructed in the vicinity of railway stations where farmers can store their produce. The effort is to supply as many fruits and vegetables as possible to the household. Extra produce should reach the entrepreneurs engaged in the production of juice, pickle, sauce, chips etc., the prime minister said.

The prime minister said in a release that the government’s priority is focussed on storage-linked infrastructure and processing industries associated with value addition in farming products. He said that about 6500 such projects have been approved under Mega Food Parks, Cold Chain Infrastructure and Agro Processing Cluster, under the PM Krishi Sampada Yojana. Rs 10,000 crore have been sanctioned for micro food processing industries under AatmaNirbhar Abhiyan package, he added.

First Published:Dec. 28, 2020, 1:49 p.m.

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