Technology and Society 



History about Delhi

Delhi became the seat of Government of India in 1911 when the Imperial Government shifted its capital from Calcutta to Delhi. Initially the capital was located on the Ridge, north of the walled city of Delhi. As this site was not found suitable to serve as the seat of the Government, a new city, namely New Delhi, located to the south of the walled city was planned. Construction work of New Delhi started in 1912 under the supervision of renowned city planners and architects. Construction of New Delhi was completed in 1931 when the seat of the Government was shifted to this new place, the city has continued to grow since then at a fast pace.

Some Facts about the city of Delhi

  • Average number of persons killed per day – 5
  • Average number of persons injured – 13
  • Buses contribute majority of the accidents
  • Numbers of motor vehicles on the road are around 40 lakhs.
  • The land area of the city of Delhi is 1486 sq kms.
  • The average density of the city is 6,352 persons per sq km.
  • The average income per capita is $800 per year(1996).
  • Average speed during peak hours is 10-15km/hour.
  • Carbon monoxide level has been violated 85% above standards.
  • 70% of the air pollutants of the city are due to vehicular traffic and congestion.
  • The energy consumption (fuel) has tripled from 1980 - 2000.
  • Buses carry half the passengers of Delhi measured in passenger kilometer.

Need of Metro

As the cities grow in size, the number of vehicular trips on road system goes up. This necessities a pragmatic policy shift to discourage private modes and encourage public transport once the level of traffic along any travel corridor in one direction exceeds 20,000 persons per hour.

The city of Delhi has experienced phenomenal growth in population in the last few decades. Its population has increased from 57 lakhs in 1981 to 132 lakhs in 2001.For want of an efficient mass transport system, the number of motor vehicles have increased from 5.4 lakhs in 1981 to 40 lakhs in 2001. The number of motor vehicles in Delhi is now more than that of Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai put together. The results is extreme congestion on Delhi roads, ever slowing speeds, increase in road accidents, fuel wastage and environmental pollution with motorized vehicles alone contributing to about two third of the atmospheric pollution. Today the traffic on roads of Delhi is a heterogeneous mix of cycles, scooter, buses, cars and rickshaws jostling with each other, this has resulted in a chaotic situation so much so that due to road accidents, the average number of person killed per day has increased to 5 and of those injured to 13 per day. The position is expected to deteriorate further in the years to come.

To rectify this situation the Government of India and the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, in equal partnership have set up a company named Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd., which has now be mandate to construct Metro Rail tracks in Delhi.

About Delhi Metro

The history of planning a Metro Project for Delhi dates back to 70’s. The Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) undertook the first exhaustive study on traffic and travel characteristics of Delhi in 1969-70. While bringing out extensive data describing the traffic and travel characteristics, it developed mathematical models to project travel demand. By examining several alternatives, it recommended for a Mass Rapid Transit Network for Delhi. Metropolitan Transport Team (MTT), Indian Railways, has reviewed the above schemes. MTT sought for some modifications to recommendations for CRRI and planned for a well knit MRTS for the capital city of India.

Introduction of a rail based MRTS is called for. MRTS are capital intensive and have long gestation period. It has been observed that in developed countries, planning from mass transit system starts when city population size exceeds 1 million, the system is in position by the time the city population is 2to3 million and once the population exceeds 4 million or so, planned extensions to the MRTS is vigorously taken up. In developing countries including India, because of paucity of funds planning and implementation of rail based MRTS has been lagging far behind the requirements.

The city of Delhi with a population of round 13 million should have had a MRTS network of at least 100 km by this time, where as actually it is still a the take-off stage. Delhi has the ideal dress up for an excellent MRTS to be brought in. it has wide roads where road possession for construction is not difficult. Implementation will also not involve demolition of large scale private properties. Most of the land required is under Government control and hence can be easily acquired.

Delhi Development Authority (DDA) prepared a perspective plan for Delhi in 10984 and recommended for a multi modal transport system comprising of 200 km of light rail transit system, 10 km of tramway, an extension of surface rail system and extensive road network. Due to the rapid growth especially along the western and eastern parts of the city, a study group was appointed by the Ministry of railways, to recommend a precise alignment for the East-West corridor and in 1987 further appointed a Task Force.

Feasibility study on MRTS in Delhi prepared by RITES recommended for three component system comprising of Rail corridors, Metro corridors and dedicated bus way totaling to 184.5 km and further addition of 14km increased to 198.5km. The total network contains 16 sections to be implemented in a sequence based on passenger kilometer carried per kilometer length of each section, the first phase of network, now under execution compromises of 62.5 km of route length with 12.5km underground called Metro corridor and 60 km surface/elevated called Rail Corridor.   

The citizens are enlightened and would eagerly welcome introduction of people friendly MRTS thought they may initially face some difficulties during implementation phase. Added to this Delhi has an unassailable advantage in its excellent railways network comprising two rings and six spurs totaling about 120 km within the urban area, but presently it is not utilized and the share of commuter traffic is only 2%.

The present proposal of modified first phase of Delhi MRTS project approved will cost approximately Rs.4860 crores and will comprise a network of 11km to underground Metro corridor along with 44.30km of elevated rail corridors. It will have 45 stations in all. The project will require the acquisition of about 340 hectares of land, of which about 58% is government land, 39% is private agricultural land and 3% is private urban land.

System Analysis for relevance of transport policy on socio-economic developments

                                               Socio-economic effects of transport policy

From above figure it can be outlined that the transport policy have its effect on the actors involved i.e. the operator and the users, it has also general socio-economic effects apart from the operator and the users and also environmental effects.

The effects of the Delhi Metro can be classified as:

  • Direct Effects - The effects of the infrastructural project i.e. the Delhi Metro project, which is related to the operator and the user of the system are called the DIRECT EFFECTS.
  • Indirect Effects – The strategic forward and backward effects of the project that arise from the direct effects are mostly categorized under the INDIRECT EFFECTS. Infrastructural projects don’t only affect the users and the operators but users pass a part of their benefits on to others, it has an effect on the entire economy. This redistribution could have positive societal welfare effect if it results in reduced distortions in the market.
  • External Effects – The effects for which it is difficult to determine in monetary terms are called the EXTERNAL EFFECTS, as they don’t have market and hence no prices. Effects on environment, nature and safety are such external effects. They are the outcomes of the indirect effects.

              Note: The effects mentioned below are only considering phase 1, which is being implemented.

Direct Effects of Delhi Metro

  • Saving Time: Saving of 2 million man hours per day due to reduced journey time, which is about 50 to 75%
  • Saving in fuel cost worth Rs.500 crores per year.
  • More comfortable and safe travel for the commuters. 
  • Additional revenue generation from the parking lots and the shopping complex, restaurants, tea stall, vending machine, advertisements etc. has been around 1.78 crores for first three months of part one of phase one.
  • Increase in the employment rate i.e. the direct employment and the indirect employment. 

Indirect Effects of Delhi Metro

  • 21.82 lakhs commuter trips per day would be siphoned off the roads. 
  • 2,600 buses off the road.
  • Increasing the average speed of buses from 10.5 km/hour to 14km/hour.
  • Saving Space: The metro can carry the same amount of traffic as 9 lanes of buses or 33 lanes of private motor cars (either of them).
  • Due to the Metro the land prices along the routes and near the metro stations will increase from 15 to 20% for both residential and commercial area.
  • Increase in the employment rate i.e. the direct employment and the indirect employment. 
  • Broadening the access of employers to pool of qualified labour.
  • Extension of market areas for goods and services.
  • Unlocking and upbringing opportunities for suitable development sites.
  • Improved mobility for the physically disabled people.
  • Better accessibility to basic needs.

External Effects of Delhi Metro

  • Reduction in atmospheric pollution levels by 50%.
  • Reduction in road accidents.
  • Reducing the traffic nuisances in the urban areas.

Network Effects of Delhi Metro

A network effect arises whenever the benefit from a good or a service depends on the total number of other users. Network externalities are the type of network effect that is transmitted directly rather than through the market.
Note: The externalities could be positive and negative.

Due to the coming of Delhi Metro the amount of congestion on the road would decrease which would increase the travel speed of the vehicles on the road. Also there would be decrease in the noise pollution and accidents on the road, which in turn would increase the quality of life. So as more people use the Metro the marginal benefits would increase.
The area and shops surrounding the Metro stations would have increased value as the marginal benefits of the shops and the market places around the stations would increase as compared to their marginal costs. This depends on the number of users of the Metro.

Negative Effects of Delhi Metro

There could be many negative impacts of the Metro but at the same time policy alternatives are such that they compensate for the negative impacts. For example many trees need to be chopped off for the construction of rail lines, stations and other facilities. But to counter that instruments like planting three trees of one tree cut, building up parks, etc. have been adopted.
Many market segments would be affected due to metro like the Automobile Industry, but on the other end to balance the economy other revenue generation alternatives arises and developing wider perspective for other markets.

But apart from this the only negative social effect is the possession of the land from the private land owners, which could be an opposition.


The transport policy of Metro in Delhi has less negative effects, which makes the decision making process easy.
The socio-economic effects of the Delhi Metro project are significant in terms of economic development, urban regeneration and capable to improve the quality of life in the city targeting as well developed and sustainable mobility. These effects are strengthening the attractiveness of the city in local, national and international competition.

6.    Economic Benefits – Mass Rapid Transit System DMRC press release, New Delhi, 30/03/2000
7.    “Metro may not be a money spinner” Hindustan Times , New Delhi, 06/0902002
8.    Evaluation of Infrastructural Projects: Guide for CBA, section 1 by: Carel J.J. Eijgenraam, Carl C. Koopmans, Paul J.G. Tang- CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis
9.    A Report – “Solutions” – Transportation in Developing countries – Greenhouse Gas Scenario for Delhi, by: Ranjan Bose and Daniel Sperling May 2001.
10.    A paper on “The socio-economic effects of the Metro line “U3” in Vienna (Austria)evaluated under the European research project TranSEcon” by Ing. Oliver Roider and Ing. Dr. Roman Klementschitzz- University of Bodenlultur, Vienna, Austria
11.    Managerial Economics by: Ivan Png – Chapter 11 - Externalities






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