ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Delhi Metro Rail: Beyond Mass Transit

A decade has gone since the fi rst line of metro started in Delhi in 2002. Despite its expansion across the city in the past 10 years neither pollution nor congestion levels have gone down as claimed by its advocates. An analysis of the revenue generated by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation through property development and the rise of property prices adjacent to metro routes and stations suggests that the metro is entangled with the larger process of gentrifi cation in the city. It is restructuring urban space for capital accumulation by a series of dispossessions of the poor and by giving priority to metro routes for middle class colonies. Thus the metro may fulfi l the dreams of the ruling class and their city planners of transforming Delhi into a "world class city". But so far it has failed to provide equitable mass transit to the city.

The need for a mass transit in Delhi was first mentioned in 1969 in a traffic and travel characteristics study done by the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI). Several studies were since conducted by different government agencies to explore the possible technology for such a mass transit (Shreedharan 2002). However, the metro rail was chosen as an appropriate techno logy of mass transit only in the 1990s on the basis of a feasibility report prepared by the Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) (1995a). In 1995, with an equity participation of the Government of India (GOI) and the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD), the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) was established to carry out the construction of the Delhi Metro Rail (DMR). The construction of the DMR started in October 1998 and by December 2011, two phases of the DMR network were completed consisting of six lines with the length of 190 km and 142 stations (DMRC 2011).

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