Metro rail network will be expanded to over 25 cities by 2025, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said after flagging off India's first driverless train.
“The first metro in the country was started with the efforts of Atal ji. When our government was formed in 2014, only five cities had metro services, and today 18 cities have metro rail service. By 2025, we will take this service to more than 25 cities,” Modi said after flagging off the driverless train on Delhi Metro’s Magenta Line through video link.
Modi said that till 2014 only 248 km of metro network was operational, but it has grown three times to 700 km. “It will increase to 1,700 km by 2025,” he said, adding that the number of people using metro rail service in the country has grown to 8.5 million from about 1.7 million in 2014. He attributed this to taking urbanisation not as a “challenge” but as an opportunity.
“How was this change possible? After all it is the same bureaucracy, the same people. So how was the pace of work increased. The main reason is that we took urbanisation as an opportunity and not as a challenge. We have never had a policy on Metro in our country,” Modi said.
The prime minister also launched the national common mobility card on Delhi Metro's Airport Express Line. Modi emphasised on ‘Make in India’ and said it “is very important for the expansion of metro services. It reduces cost, saves foreign currency and provides more employment to people”.