By 2021, Delhi’s metro network will be bigger than the London Underground. Cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, to name just a few, are extensively upgrading their urban infrastructure.
Metro systems can not only decongest cities, but they can clean them up, too. In Delhi, there are around 580,000 less vehicles on the roads thanks to the metro — meaning around 855,000 tons of pollutants are kept out of the air. For many, a journey by metro also means more comfort: “It’s better for the city than road transport because there’s no issue of traffic or pollution. I don’t have the troubles of the road, and can be in an environment that is air-conditioned and clean,” says Toussef, a resident of one of Delhi’s many sub-cities.
It also means areas that are rich in history can be preserved. Delhi metro’s “Heritage Line” runs under some of the city’s most famous landmarks and sporting arenas, in a place where large roads would be impossible. More than 90,000 people a day can pass undisturbed under iconic sites such as the Delhi gate, Jama Masjid and Red Fort, as well as one of the country’s most prominent cricket grounds.