As the Cocid-19 pamdemic halted the day to day operations, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) had stopped its operations for eight months since March 2020. However, the Delhi Metro has stepped into 2021 with the proud launch of India’s first driverless train service. The Covid pandemic took nearly 10000 lives in the national capital in 2020 alone and wreaked havoc in June, the first significant pandemic wave in the city.
On December 28, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) launched the country’s first driverless service on the 37 km Magenta Line.
Prime Minister NarendraModi inaugurated the service through video conferencing. Driverless train services on Metro’s Magenta Line will be extended to the Pink Line within six months. With this, DMRC will own 9% of the world’s total driverless metro network. With this technological feast, DMRC achieved the title of the first driverless metro train in the country. There will be roving attendants, trained metro operators onboard to intervene in emergencies or other types of failures Until DMRC switches to the Unattended Train Operation (UTO) mode. The driverless trains will have an operational speed of 85 km/h and a maximum speed of 95 km/h.
The first Covid19 case was reported in Delhi on March 1.
The Delhi Metro service has been suspended since March 22. Later, the Metro service was resumed in stages from September 7 under the Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines. The services were in strict compliance with Covid19 control standards. The services were continued with stringent measures for the least physical contact with the travelers, including automated thermal screening, sanitizer dispenser, and lift calling system driven with a foot pedal. Inside the train, there are also stickers on the floor and seats to maintain social distancing. Wearing of masks were mandatory inside the trains and on the platforms, and the authorities charged those who were not following the guidelines fines. Later, metro services resumed almost normally. But before Covid, the Delhi Metro, which used to carry an average of 26 lakh passengers a day, was reduced to three or four lakh passengers. The number of metro commuters may also decrease as city life returns to normal. The DMRC sets another milestone in this new year by completing another 57 km of the driverless train in the Pink Line from Majlis Park to Shiv Vihar. It would be achieved by the mid of 2021.