In a first, Delhi Metro will ferry cargo on its premium Airport Express Line that connects Indira Gandhi International Airport to New Delhi Railway Station.
The service, that will begin on March 1, will be experimental for three months and if it gets a successful response a tender for a long-term arrangement shall be floated, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) officials said.
Only non-perishable and merchandise of e-commerce sites will be transported for the purpose of which DMRC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a specialised cargo agency.
“This would be the first-ever occasion, when a Metro system in India would be used for the transportation of cargo.
These trials would help in accessing the cargo volumes that could potentially be generated on this route on both directions, especially e-commerce cargo,” an official said.
The initiative may also lead to the reduction in cargo vehicles on the streets of the city and subsequently lesser consumption of fossil fuels and lower CO2 emission thus contributing towards an improved air quality, a Delhi Metro statement said.
As per an earlier announcement, Delhi Metro stations will double up as terminals for e-commerce sites, with customers being given the option of getting products delivered at select stations so they can collect them at their convenience.
As trains on the 23-km corridor already have dedicated coaches for luggage, the introduction of the cargo services will not cause any inconvenience to the general commuters, the statement said.