Dear Modiji, bullet trains can wait, first rectify problems in metros

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A Delhi Metro station
Thousands of commuters were again stranded on Tuesday as a technical snag hit Delhi Metro's Blue Line causing the trains to run slow and halt for several minutes at many stations resulting in overcrowding. Long queues were seen outside every metro station on the entire stretch between Dwarka-Noida/Vaishali routes.

Technical snags, a daily phenomenon in metro

The glitch on the Blue Line is very frequent and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) always blames the snapping of a strand of the overhead electrical wire. Delhi metro may have completed a decade, but no permanent solution has been formulated till date to cure this problem which has now become a daily affair.

This not only eats up the precious time of thousands of commuters as these snags generally develop during peak hours, when there is maximum traffic on the route.

Ironically, the stranded commuters were heard chatting about how Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a five-day visit of Japan, was seen wooing technical giants in Japan's capital, Tokyo, to help develop metro network in other Indian cities.

Japan has already committed to providing financial, technical and operational support to develop India's first bullet train project. Japan has also promised to substantially invest in Ahmedabad metro project. These are really good signs as it will boost India's infrastructure but the government must also ensure that the existing projects are not ignored as well.

Delhi's lifeline is metro

In the past one decade, the state owned metro has turned Delhi's lifeline. It has achieved a daily ridership of an average 2.5 million and generates huge revenues. People in the entire Delhi-NCR region now depend on metros. With every passing month the coaches are getting overcrowded as people are shunning other modes of transport in the capital city and travelling metro to save their precious time and fuel. But there seems to be no remedy to curb overcrowding and the ever increasing glitches.

Metro is facing technical snags every now and then

One wonders why the DMRC is unable to fix this problem which is not only affecting its credibility but also making it a butt of all jokes in the international community. In this age of social media the news of such irregularities spreads like wildfire and thus, brings shame to the government.

Rain in Mumbai metro

We can take the case of Mumbai metro when water from an AC duct started pouring inside a metro coach, during its initial days of plying. The commuters inside the coach clicked pictures and made videos and posted them on social media. The state of the art metro had to face huge embarrassment with this incident.

Since, metro is also used by foreigners visiting Delhi the instances of any such snag only brings global humiliation.

Tall claims over improved transport facilities are being made but the existing system is not working properly. The DMRC washes its hands off every time a technical snag occurs. The government must fix accountability of those responsible for such glitches.

Bringing foreign technologies and investments would be of no use if the existing ones are not maintained well. Expansion and development of the metro will be positive only when the government addresses this issue seriously so that no such problem is faced in coming days.

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