Representational Image
Representational Image

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated India's first-ever driverless train operations on the Delhi Metro's Magenta Line (Janakpuri West-Botanical Garden).

At 11 AM on this day, the Prime Minister, in the same event, also launched via video conferencing the fully operational National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) services on the Airport Express Line.

This has heralded a new era of enhanced mobility driven by cutting-edge technology, and falls within the ambits of the Prime Minister's ambitious 'One Nation, One Card' vision.

Under the NCMC service, all passengers will potentially be able use just one card to avail transit at all locations, including metros, buses, and suburban railway services across Delhi.

Here's all you need to know about the ambitious NCMC service for transportation around the national capital:

1. Prime Minister Modi in March 2019 had launched the indigenously-developed NCMC to enable people to pay multiple kinds of transport charges, including using metro and bus services across the country.

2. Dubbed as 'One Nation One Card', the inter-operable transport card allows the holders to also pay for their bus travel, toll taxes, parking charges, retail shopping and even withdraw money.

3. The NCMC will be fully operationalised on the Airport Line and across the entire 390-km stretch of the Delhi Metro network, covering 285 stations across 11 corridors (including the NOIDA-Greater NOIDA line), by 2022.

4. It is also set to be a major milestone as anyone carrying a RuPay-Debit Card issued in the last 18 months by 23 banks (all these are NCMC compliant as per directions of the Department of Financial Services, Government of India), from any part of the country will be able to travel on this line using that card.

5. The smartphones of the passengers will operate as an Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) system, which will facilitate entry and exit from Metro stations.

6. The commuters will eventually use only their smartphones as the only digitised card needed to pay for bus, metro, and suburban railway services.

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Driven by cutting-edge technology, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation had been conducting various trials for its new 'driverless trains', whose flagging off has become a major technological milestone for the DMRC and the country.

With the commencement of new-generation trains, the DMRC will enter the elite league of "seven per cent of world's Metro networks" which can operate services without drivers, the Delhi Metro said on Sunday.

This is the first major event of Delhi Metro in 2020 which saw an unprecedented lockdown in the earlier months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Delhi Metro had resumed services with curtailed operation on the Yellow Line from September 7 after being closed for over five months.

On regular days, the average daily ridership of the Delhi Metro is over 26 lakh.

(With inputs from agencies)

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