New Delhi, Jan 3: The rapidly expanding Delhi Metro, in its 14th year, is set to spread its wings further by venturing deep into the National Capital Region (NCR) in 2016.
With the addition of around 114 km in its network, and 18 new interchange stations, Delhi Metro will take a giant leap towards augmenting the city's public transportation and is likely to help keep lakhs of cars off the city's roads, a pre- requisite for success of anti-pollution measures like 'odd- even'.
A study by Central Road Research Institute (CERI) says that metro helped keep around 4 lakh cars off roads in 2014.
The numbers may increase exponentially once the new sections are launched by the end of 2016.
According to official data, work in the two brand new corridors, 58.6-km-long Majlis Park-Shiv Vihar (Pink Line) and 34-km-long Janakpuri West-Botanical Garden (Magenta Line) have been completed by around 80 per cent each.
While the former will have 38 stations, 23 are coming up on the latter. In total, there will be 27 interchange stations by the end of 2016, including the currently operational nine.
The crisscrossing of the new lines with the existing corridors at many places will lead to the emergence of these interchange stations, thus, dramatically shortening the distance between two different parts of the city by up to 15 km at some places.
For example, Hauz Khas Metro station will come up as a link between Yellow Line and the under construction Janakpuri WestBotanical Garden corridor (Line 8).
"Passengers coming from Gurgaon will be able to get down at Hauz Khas and take a direct train to Kalkaji via Line 8 instead of having to take the Violet Line from Central Secretariat. "And by doing so they would save traveling of about 13.14 km. It will also bring Gurgaon and Noida closer as the line 8 extends till Noida Botanical Garden," a senior metro official said.
In 2015, metro expanded to 213 km with 160 stations and seven different corridors crisscrossing the city while bringing into its fold nearby satellite townships like Faridabad.
In fact, the launch of the extension till Escorts Mujesar of Faridabad was the main highlight of 2015. It was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Metro was also extended to Samaypur Badli on the city's north and till the busy office hub of ITO in the heart of the capital. Ridership touched a record high of 32.05 lakh on August 28.