Bid to revive Delhi's ring railway

Railways to use CG games as opportunity to seek better road connectivity with selected high-potential ring railway stations

shivani

Shivani Chaturvedi | May 17, 2010


Lajpat Nagar station on the underused ring railway of Delhi
Lajpat Nagar station on the underused ring railway of Delhi

It was during the Asian Games in 1982 when the ring railway, a circular rail network started in Delhi. And now it’s the Commonwealth Games 2010 that the Railways wants to use as an opportunity to popularise this public transport system.

Over two decades of its existence, the ring railway has failed to become popular amongst people mainly because of a lack of adequate road connectivity to the stations. The network is currently utilised as a freight corridor. A few passenger trains that operate on the circuit during peak hours are used by some office-going people whose number has barely grown over the years.

According to official data, the average numbers of tickets sold at some of the ring railway stations in one month are: Lajpat Nagar ( 4981), Sewa Nagar  (7692) Lodhi Colony  (1270), Sarojini Nagar (10400), Safdarjung  (10400), Brar Square  (6013), Inderpuri  (11100), Naraina Vihar (7000), Kirti Nagar  (4750), and Patel Nagar that serves main line to Jaipur also (66907).

The fare is meagre Rs 2 or Rs 3 depending on the distance between stations. Chanakyapuri and SP Marg stations have been closed because of very poor uptake of the service. The remaining stations on the ring railway circuit are Dayabasti, Vivekanand Puri, Delhi Kishanganj, Sadar Bazar, New Delhi, Shivaji Bridge, Tilak Bridge, Pragati Maidan, Hazrat Nizamuddin, Shakurbasti and Delhi Junction.

The railway authorities believe that if road connectivity to at least few of the stations on prime locations improves, the ring railway can gain popularity and be well utilised during the Games. Nine of the 23 stations on the ring railway have been identified as high-potential ones due to their important locations. These stations are Lajpat Nagar, Sewa Nagar, Lodhi Colony, Sarojini Nagar, Safdarjung, Chanakyapuri, SP Marg, Brar Square and Inderpuri. 

The Railways wrote to New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) in the first week of May asking for better connectivity to the ring railway stations, said a senior railway officer.  The railways have demanded that approach roads to these stations should be made better and encroachments on the roads connecting these stations should be removed so that the stations become easily accessible. 

The Railways also plans to improve conditions of the 9 selected stations. Lajpat Nagar station, for example, will get a whitewash and its platform be will be re-surfaced. Similar works will be undertaken at other eight stations. “All the works will be completed before the Games and we hope that NDMC and MCD will provide full support and do their part,” a Railways officer said.

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