India's Overcrowded Cities Look To Subways
India’s population is booming, and the country is slated to surpass China to become the most populated country in the world by 2024.
India's population surge is due to having the fastest growing population in the world, adding a historic 15 million people per year. Additionally, the median age of people in India is 27 meaning the country is relatively young and hence is working. The issue is that population growth leads to urban expansion which means advanced urban planning is needed to fight the inevitable congestion of cities.
Poor planning can be a disaster for cities. For example, Houston’s poor public transit and long commute times has been shown to cause poor health effects. Another example is Los Angeles, which has the United States’ longest rush hour with eight hours of traffic in a typical day that stirs up pollution. However, India seems ready for this problem as they are adding subways to ease traffic and pollution.
Indian cities are starting to broaden their subways in order to fight road congestion and gas consumption. The Delhi Metro now has 9 lines, 231 stations, and 317 kilometers of track. For comparison, this is more than Tokyo’s 304.1 km of track. Moreover, The Delhi Metro has 3 million people ride the subway each day, and 3.9 million people are expected to board as early as next year. India recognizes that it is continually growing and as a result is constantly adding new track.
By the end of the year, the Delhi Metro is expected to have 378 km of track. This makes it slightly larger than New York City’s 374 km and the fourth largest subway system in the world. This is largely in part due to the Delhi Metro adding a Pink Line that connects the capital’s northeast to its south. This is an important line because it connects the domestic terminal of India’s Gandhi International Airport to Nehru Place, which is one of India’s biggest electronic districts. Hence, the line helps reduce congestion and strengthen the economy. Additionally, India has other metro projects developing in Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Gurugram and Chennai.
The projects are being funded in part by a smooth partnership between federal and state governments. Moreover, nearly half of the 11.2 billion USD that this project costs is being funded by Japan’s government, while South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem and Japan’s Mitsubishi Electric are helping fund the cars. It is easy to say that the money is worth it due to the decrease in commuting time and pollution while there is an increase in economic activity.
Written by Willie Turchetta & Edited by Alexander Fleiss