"The traffic scenario in the cities is one of heavy congestion and average speed in single digits... We can say we are back to the bullock-cart age,” Singh said.

"Inefficient transportation in our city is detrimental to our economy as many man-hours are lost in transit. Pollution is very high. There is a lack of an overall unified transport authority," he added while speaking at an international conference organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Urban Mass Transportation with a focus on Metro and Light Rail.

Singh all over the world, transportation systems for cities and their municipal authority rests with the mayor.

“Who is controlling Delhi? This is the biggest problem. There is no unified authority. Efficient public transportation system is the only solution,” he added.

Singh lauded the DMRC for its effective functioning as it operates a 190-km long metro system which carries over 26 lakh passengers daily.

He said following in the successful footsteps of DMRC, other cities like Jaipur, Kochi, Hyderabad, Lucknow and Pune were also in advanced stages of planning their own metro networks.

But the pace of construction of these networks is not adequate and has to be expedited, the DMRC chief said.

The cost of metro railway construction in India is the lowest compared to anywhere in the world considering the paying capacity of the people, Singh said, adding that CII can assist Metro authorities in identifying ways to further reduce overall costs of building such transportation networks.

Noting that not many people who work at these construction sites are technically qualified and experienced, Singh said CII can identify ways of training these labourers to ensure that the cost of construction comes down while its pace increases.

To a question about DMRC taking over the Airport Express line, the DMRC MD said, "We are already running it, and are looking after the operations."

(Agencies)

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