Prime Minister Narendra Modi will flag off the country's first-ever fully-automated driverless train service on Monday. The prime minister will also launch fully operational National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) services on the Airport Express Line.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said that the inauguration will be held via video conferencing at 11 am on Monday. The driverless metro train will run on the 37-km Magenta Line, connecting Janakpuri West and Botanical Garden.
With the commencement of these new-generation trains, the DMRC will enter the elite league of "7 per cent of world's Metro networks" which can operate services without drivers, according to DMRC.
It also informed that by mid-2021, another major corridor of the Delhi Metro--57 km Pink Line (Majlis Park-Shiv Vihar)--will also have driverless operations.
Once the driverless trains are operationalised on the Pink Link too, the Delhi Metro will have a driverless network length of about 94 km which will be approximately 9 per cent of the world's total driverless metro network, DMRC added.
Driverless train features
Initially, drivers will be deputed for operating the trains then they would be gradually withdrawn to move to Unattended Train Operation (UTO). The driverless train will have six coaches along with several advanced features.
Delhi Metro's current operational network spans about 390 km with 285 stations across 11 corridors (including NOIDA Greater NOIDA line). On regular days, the average daily ridership of the Delhi Metro is over 26 lakh.
The metro rail scenario in the entire nation has undergone a massive transformation in the last six years. While in 2014, only 248 km of metro lines were operational in five cities, presently 702 km are operational in 18 cities in India.
What's National Common Mobility Card (NCMC)
PM Modi will launch NCMC services on the Airport Express Line on Monday. After the launch, commuters will be able to use the NCMC on any corridor of the Delhi Metro.
Prime Minister Modi in March 2019 had launched the indigenously-developed NCMC to enable people to pay multiple kinds of transport charges, including using metro and bus services across the country.
Dubbed as 'One Nation One Card', the inter-operable transport card allows holders to also pay for their bus travel, toll taxes, parking charges, retail shopping and even withdraw money.
The NCMC, which will be fully operationalised on the Airport Line will also be a major milestone as anyone carrying a RuPay-Debit Card issued in the last 18 months by 23 banks (all these are NCMC compliant as per directions of the Department of Financial Services, Government of India), from any part of the country will be able to travel on this line using that card, the Delhi Metro said.
The same facility will become available on the entire Delhi Metro network by 2022.Also read: Oxford COVID-19 vaccine has 'winning formula', says AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot
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