The recent decision of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s (DMRC) to hike metro fares in the capital has ignited controversy, with the Delhi state assembly instituting a committee to examine the issue . Last month, it was the suburban railway management in Mumbai that came under fire from opposition politicians after a stampede at the Elphinstone station in the heart of the city claimed the lives of 23 people.
The two events may seem unconnected but both are symptoms of a systemic crisis in India’s urban transport infrastructure. As our cities expand, existing urban transport infrastructure is proving to be inadequate. The situation is particularly severe in big cities. Despite a large commuter-base, public transport providers are not able to recover their costs. Mounting losses in turn often cripple the ability of such service providers to invest in infrastructure, and even to meet basic safety requirements. Read More…
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