Dwarka residents all set to take ride on Metro from April 1
New Delhi, Mar 26: Come April 1 and the residents of Dwarka and nearby areas will be connected through the Metro to the Connaught Place in the heart of the Capital with the extension of the Barakhamba Road-Dwarka line within Dwarka sub-city all set to be thrown open to the public on that day.
The opening of the 6.5 km extension will give the inhabitants, of one of the Delhi's biggest residential colonies an access to a proper and fast mode of transport to the heart of the Capital.
Trains on the Barakhamba Road-Dwarka line, which only run till the outskirts of Dwarka to date, would now also pass through sectors 14, 13, 12, 11, 10 and 9 in the sub-city, fulfilling the long-cherished dream of the people of a faster mode of transport to reach the centre of the city.
A ride from Dwarka Sector 9 to Barakhamba Road is likely to take just over 50 minutes (54 minutes to be precise), much less than the commuting time by a bus, DMRC spokesperson Anuj Dayal says.
With the extension of the line, DMRC's ridership is expected to increase by about 20,000-25,000 a day, Mr Rao said.
A unique feature of the Metro stations in the Dwarka sub-city is that the stations are just 6.7 m high, compared to the 12-12.5 m height on other elevated sections.
Initially the frequency of Metro trains to the sub-city will be every ten minutes. However, as the ridership level rises the frequency would be increased, the spokesperson said.
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.
Interestingly, the 6.5 km stretch from Dwarka Sector 14 to Sector 9 is that the construction work on it has been completed in a record time of 22 months.
Also, the cost incurred on building the Metro stations is Rs 320 crore, almost 25 per cent lower compared to the cost on building metro stations on other lines.
The short time in which it was built as well as the reduced cost is largely due to the fact that the extension of the 23.1 km Barakhamba Road-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 earmarked a 30 m wide dedicated corridor for the Metro in the Master Plan for Dwarka.
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 Director (Planning) of the Delhi Metro, Mr C V K Rao said.
According to Mr Rao, availability of a dedicated corridor meant that 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.
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,''Mr Rao 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.
For example, the DDA plans a linear corridor of commercial complexes and district centres on either side of the Metro corridor at all six metro stations on the 6.5 km stretch. Also, on the huge stretch of land around the Metro stations, integrated parking lots for Metro commuters are being developed by the DDA.
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.
''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 has been designed to accommodate a million people but could not match the target due to inadequate infrastructure and improper approach.
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.