The country’s first high-speed airport metro service, which started operations with great fanfare on February 23, 2011, will be suspended from Sunday due to technical problems with the railway track setup.
The state-of-the-art 23-km airport metro service runs from New Delhi railway station to Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) and Dwarka.
It is run by Reliance Infrastructure and has facilities like platform screen doors, comfortable seats and coaches with running speed of 135-140 kmph. Since the inception of the service, the airport metro has been in the news for its poor ridership figures and being a drain on Reliance Infrastructure’s resources.
“Even if the airport metro service made profits, we would suspend operations if any technical fault was found. But, to tell you frankly, the line is not making any profits, but we will still continue to run it,” said Sumit Banerjee, CEO of Reliance Infrastructure, when asked whether low ridership was also one of the reasons for taking the drastic decision of stalling services.
A panel comprising DMRC officials, Reliance Infrastructure and the Indian Railways will study the nature of technical faults and give a report regarding the same in two weeks, said Mangu Singh, DMRC chief.
Singh said the civil work for the metro was carried out by the DMRC, while the service is run by Reliance Infrastructure. “As far as civil works of the airport metro is concerned, there are absolutely no problems.”