Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) was formed in May 1995 by Delhi state and Indian central government. Despite a late start due to political problems DMRC felt it was important to stick to the published completion date of September 2005 in order to avoid the public outcry and ridicule that dogged Calcutta Metro, which took 25 years to build and went 12 times over budget.
Design contracts were awarded in 1998 to a consortium led by Japanese consultant Pacific Consultants International. Eight main contracts have also been awarded for construction and to date 170 contractors and suppliers have been involved in the project.
The master plan is to build 244km of track to join up the radial arms of Delhi, starting with 68.3km in the first phase. Phase 1 consists of three rail lines, the first of which - 28km of elevated track - was finished in early 2002.
It runs from the west into central Delhi. The second line, running 11km through tunnel north-south under central Delhi, is now under construction. Construction of the 29.3km long, elevated line three is yet to begin.