All Delhi Metro lines operational but ridership just a fraction of earlier


A week after it resumed operations, Delhi Metro is showing a pick-up in ridership. On September 14, the mass rapid transit network carried over 200,000 riders.

A massive uptick from 8,300 passengers in the first few hours of its restart on September 7 but the number is nowhere near to the 6 million average day-to-day ridership of the Delhi Metro before the shutdown. Alternatively, it gives a glimmer of hope to the organisation that is reeling under financial stress caused because of the nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid 19.

DMRC had resumed operations on September 7 as a part of the Union government’s permission under Unlock 4 guidelines. Following a graded reopening, it first restarted the Samaypur Badli-HUDA city centre section of the products and services. The other lines were made operational one-by-one before all the network of 400 km used to be thrown open to the commuters on September 12.

Many passengers shifted to metro for their day-to-day shuttle since they were earlier relying on either bus service or the ride hailing products and services, but even so private modes of transportation.

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The complete ridership stood at 249,884, by the end of Monday evening which used to be the first working day in any case lines became operational.

DMRC made losses to the tune of Rs 1,690 crore throughout the 169-day period it used to be closed, thereby forcing DMRC to resort to stringent cost cutting measures, including freezing staff allowances.

But even so train tickets, the corporation also earns its revenue from advertising and rentals from the retail outlets at the metro stations. Both these streams of revenue could not garner any sum for DMRC throughout the period it used to be shut.

DMRC had halted products and services on March 22 amid fears of the spread of novel coronavirus. Throughout the shutdown, it incurred a revenue loss of approximately Rs 10 crore per day on an average.

But even so this, the DMRC had also received loans from the Japan International Cooperation Agency. Even if the DMRC is responsible for repayment of loan, it had been taken from JICA by the Central government, whom the DMRC repays.

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