If ever you feel like having a better appreciation for what has been achieved by Delhi Metro, please take a ride - if possible during rush hours - on Jaipur Metro.
Built at at a cost of Rs. 2023 Crores in about four years, it touted as a futuristic project that was implemented in record time. Perhaps it is also the first metro project in India that has been implemented entirely using a state government's own resources. JMRC has much to be proud of.
How does this infra feel at the ground level?
I had a chance to to ride to ride the Jaipur metro a few days ago (Ramnagar to Sindhi Camp), and my first impression is that, as of now, it seems like a white elephant. A lonely white elephant with very long legs.
Even six months after starting the services, the metro stations were practically empty during the rush hour. Since it was not considered worthwhile to waste energy on the escalators for so few people, passengers had to climb almost 150 steps to reach the platform level!
The platforms, however, are better designed than the ones you see on Delh Metro. Guidelines marking the entry points are not painted on the platform floor as an afterthought but built into the stone tilework, so they are never going to get worn off. Unlike in Delhi where most elevated lines run at the rooftop level, the height of JMRC pillars ensure that you get a fantastic panoramic view of Jaipur city, with its old forts on the surounding hilltops.
There are a few puzzling features too. The overhead pantographs on the trains seem a lot thinner and less rugged than in Delhi. Does it make a difference to the travel experience? I doubt it. However, the steep gradient of descent from the elevated to underground lines ensures that the sound of brakes and grating metal stays with you long after you leave the train.
This is a work in progress. So one hopes that the JMRC will expand it network and persuade more and more people to use its services. Getting the escalators to work may be a good way to start.
* Official website of JMRC (very useful!) - https://www.jaipurmetrorail.in/
* (3Jun15 - IE) - All you wanted to know about Jaipur Metro in 18 points - http://www.financialexpress.com/article/economy/jaipur-metro-rail-all-you-wanted-to-know-in-18-points/79835/