Delhi Metro museum unveiled - visiting Wharton students ‘jealous’

December 30th, 2008 - 7:42 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 30 (IANS) Visitors and commuters eagerly thronged the area where the metro museum’s special exhibit relaying the genesis, history and journey of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) was being shown to the media Tuesday.A glance, initially intended to be a hurried one, soon became an engrossed gaze at Delhi’s finest success story - the story of the cheap but fast and world class metro service.

“This is really inspirational work,” Mukesh Ranjan, an advocate and a regular commuter on the metro, said.

He nodded occasionally as he read the detailed panels at the metro museum at Patel Chowk station here Tuesday as several other commuters also stopped along the display.

“Metro museums can be found in only a few European, US and Japanese cities, but the one at Delhi is the only one in South Asia. It is the only one of its kind - set up in two months within an operational station,” Anuj Dayal, DMRC’s chief public relations officer said, beaming with pride.

“The metro museum answers the most common question that commuters ask - What makes the metro tick and how do we manage to finish projects before time, within costs and without inconvenience to the public? The answers are all here,” he said.

A group of students from the Wharton School of Management visiting the Metro system here for an excursion, appeared amazed and said that it was far better than the one at New York.

Interacting with Dayal during the tour, Amir, a Lebanese national and Wharton student summed up their awe, saying: “I want to ask on behalf of all of us - Since most Wharton students live in New York and use the subway all the time, I want to know if we can ever have a system as advanced and amazing as this?”

“I must admit - we are very jealous of the Delhi metro system,” he added.

In response, Dayal said New York has a very functional metro system and since DMRC came up later, it could tap the technology available. “I am sure if the New York system wants to expand its existing plans- it can be at par, but carrying out changes in the existing operational system is not easy,” he added.

The exhibits at the museum include some defining moments in the metro’s history including a dateline and flags used to flag off the first train in December 2002.

It also has on display the management style and work culture adopted by DMRC along with detailed panels explaining technological marvels like the extra-dosed bridge and construction of the Chawri Bazaar station - 25 metres below the ground.

On display is a ‘tooth’ taken from a tunnel boring machine - while the cost of the machine is Rs.45 million, the tooth alone costs Rs.300,000.

In addition to panels on the metro’s technological features, the museum has two touch screen computers that play the DMRC corporate movie and animations describing the way the tunnel boring machines and launching girders are used in elevated construction work

“This has been included specially for the curious,” Dayal said.

The panels and other exhibits at the museum are in English, but he expressed hopes of opening another at some other station in Hindi soon.

“There was a space constraint - but we will try to open one in Hindi at another station,” Dayal said.

A model of the metro train, specially designed in Korea, a strip of the track, models of key stations like Tis Hazari, framed certificates of the numerous awards the DMRC has bagged are among the other exhibits on display near the Patel Chowk station’s ticket counter.

Souvenirs like ties, pens and key-chains with the DMRC logo and books on DMRC will also be available on sale at the museum.

The museum is intended to be DMRC’s New Year gift to its commuters and the public and will be open from Jan 1. A curator will be present between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on all days except Monday.

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