No revival for Delhi's Ring Railway system in sight
NEW DELHI: The national Capital is under severe stress, thanks to rising pollution.
Around two years ago, with the aim to reduce vehicular emissions, the BJP-led Centre had announced rejuvenation of Delhi's Ring Railway – a part of the Delhi Suburban Railway services. The then Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had announced that Ring Railway would be revived with assistance from the state government.
However, Delhiites are still desperately waiting for any tangible change on the ground.
The Ring Railway line, which was set up in 1975 runs parallel to the city's Ring Road and covers the southern, western and nothern parts of Delhi.
However, not many in the city are aware of the Ring Railway system, which has been dying a slow death, while Delhi Metro continues to spreads its network across the city.
A senior officer of Northern Railway said, "It has to be executed in active coordination with the Delhi government. We will work out a plan in consultation with the Delhi government. But the Delhi Urban development could not get any proposal from the Railway."
Removal of encroachments to construct approach road, developing stations with better passenger amenities, are some basic requirements before launching more trains in the Ring Railway, the official further said.
"Delhiites are being deprived of the cheapest mode of transport," said a senior citizen of Lajpat Nagar.
Currently, only 10 trips are undertaken on the service in a day, with an average daily ridership of about 3,700. The 35-km-long stretch connects 21 stations, including Lajpat Nagar, Lodhi Colony, Sarojini Nagar, Safdarjung, Chanakyapuri, Patel Nagar, Nizamuddin and Pragati Maidan.
However, Ring Railway's now have deserted, dilapidated stations and become home to a motley crew of vagrants, beggars, homeless, drug addicts and petty criminals.
There is also an urgent need for proper lighting, as well feeder services near the stations.
"I cannot afford the Metro and Uber, so I don't mind waiting. This local train has been my lifeline for the past 20 years. But the government is obsessed with the Metro, ignoring all other modes of transport," says Suresh Chawla, a resident.
The Ring Railway was built during 1982 Asiad Games and the Sheila Dikshit-led Congress government in Delhi had unsuccessfully tried to revive it during the Commonwealth Games in 2010.