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Metro to run inside Dwarka from March 31

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Mar 25: Residents of Dwarka and nearby areas will now have access to a proper and fast mode of transport to the heart of the Capital with the Barakhamba Road-Dwarka line of the Delhi Metro all set to extend its run within Dwarka sub-city from March 31.

It is also likely to boost developmental activities in the residential area.

Trains on the Barakhamba Road-Dwarka line, which till now only ran till the outskirts of Dwarka, would now also pass through sectors 14, 13, 12, 11, 10 and 9 in the sub-city, making the tourist spot of Connaught Place easily accessible to the residents of these areas, thus fulfilling their long-cherished dream of a faster mode of transport to reach the Centre of the city.

Having six stations, one each in all the six sectors, the 6.5 km extension, work on which completed in the beginning of the month, would be thrown open to the public on April 1, DMRC spokesperson Anuj Dayal told reporters here.

''The stations in the subcity have been named Dwarka Sector 9, Dwarka Sector 10, Dwarka Sector 11, Dwarka Sector 12, Dwarka Sector 13 and Dwarka Sector 14, after the names of the respective sectors,'' the DMRC spokesperson said.

With the coming into operation of the extension, residents of this area will be able to reach Connaught Place in about 50 minutes time. Infact, the total commuting time from Dwarka Sector 9 to Barakhamba Road has been estimated to be 53 minutes.

The go-ahead for the opening of the route follows a clearance by the Commissioner for Railway Safety, which carried out an inspection of the system earlier this week, C V K Rao, Director (P and P), Delhi Metro told reporters here.

Trial runs on the extension have been going on since March 5, he said.

With the extension of the line, DMRC's ridership is expected to increase by about 20000-25000 a day, Mr Rao said.

The total cost of the section was Rs 430 crores of which the Delhi Development Authority has provided about Rs 320 crore for the construction of the Metro stations - cost of infrastructure, civil, electrical and signalling and telecommunication work - while the Rs. 110-crore cost of the rolling stock, such as trains will be borne by the Delhi Metro Railway Corporation on its own.

The operation and maintenance cost of the corridor will also be borne by the DMRC.

According to Mr Rao, the construction work on the extension of the Metro to Dwarka has been completed in a record time of 22 months, including setting up of all technical systems such as lifts, escalators, AFC, signalling etc.

''We got a go ahead for the construction only in April, 2004. So, the work on the section has been completed in record time,''Mr Rao said.

Part of this was due to the fact that the extension of the 23.1 km Barakhamba-Dwarka Line 3, which was inaugurated in December 2005, to the Dwarka sub-city is a result of the initiative taken by the DDA which had agreed to provide the money as well as earmark a 30 m wide dedicated corridor for the Metro in the Master Plan for Dwarka.

''It is a win win situation for both the sides. While on the one hand the opening of the extension to Dwarka sub-city will increase the ridership of the Metro, for the DDA, it means an addition to the value of Dwarka Sub-City,''the Director (Operations) of the Delhi Metro, Mr Raj Kumar said. Observers say that Dwarka had been designed to accommodate a million people but could not match the target due to inadequate infrastructure and improper approach.

Mr Kumar said the DMRC was updating its software in the run up to the inauguration of the extension.

''The existing software is not capable of handling the increased flow of commuters, that is expected, due to the opening of the extension.

Hence we are working to update the software. Therefore, from today, the Metro operations on the Line 3 will close half an hour earlier than usual and open one hour later in the morning to enable us to update the software,''he said.

The DDA initiative for the extension of Metro to Dwarka meant that the construction work on the stretch posed none of the problems that DMRC had to face while constructing other lines in the Capital.

''As a dedicated corridor had been earmarked, no displacement of buildings was required in the construction, unlike in the case of construction on the Line 3 of the Metro, when there used to be large-scale shifting of utilities in areas like Uttam Nagar, Tilak Nagar and Rajouri Garden. With the project-affected people in the route being minimal, construction on the 6.5 Km extension was carried out at a fast pace,''the DMRC spokerperson said.

Utilities across the corridor such as telecom, electrical supply, water pipeline and sewer lines were shifted without any inconvenience to the public or to the services. One major utility of 66 KV Double Circuit Tower Line feeding Gurgaon to Delhi, which was infringing on the corridor near Dwarka Sector 11 station, was raised by DMRC without interruption of supply to Gurgaon.

The availability of a wide corridor also meant that this is the only stretch where the Metro tracks or viaduct is supported not on a single big pillar, but over two small pillars side by side.

Infact, the DDA plans to develop greenery along the corridor beneath the viaduct.

Also, at the Metro stations, the DMRC has provided 250 sq Km of parking space beneath the viaduct.

There has also been a greater focus on aesthetics while building the stretch. In course of time, columns supporting uniformly-designed stations will complement the look of the area, said DMRC officials.

Work is also set to begin on further extension of the Metro beyond Sector 9, to Dwarka Sector 22, towards the international airport.

''The DDA has requested us to further extend the Metro to Sector 22, by constructing two more stations. We are ready to go ahead with work on this 2.5 km extension,''Mr Rao said.

For this extension, DDA will bear the infrastructure cost.

Infact, DMRC officials said Rs 50 crore had already been granted by the DDA to the DMRC for the construction work on the 2.5 Km extension which is expected to take about one and a half year.

Meanwhile, work is on to complete the 2.9 km extension of Line 3 from Barakhamba Road near Connaught Place to Indraprastha (ITO).

''The work was earlier expected to be completed by June but the stretch between Pragati Maidan and the Indraprastha is creating some problems due to the lack of a bridge on the Railway line. Hence, construction work on the stretch is likely to take some more time,''Mr Rao said.

Passing through Mandi House, this section would provide Metro access to thousands working in and around the busy ITO area. It would also help thousands others coming in from East Delhi and bound for West Delhi or other areas on the Metro network every day, adding to the daily passenger volumes enormously.


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