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Dwarka section to be flaged off tom'row, opens for public on Apr 1

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Mar 30: Extension of Delhi Metro's Barakhamba Road-Dwarka line within the Dwarka sub-city in the capital's South West will be formally flagged off tomorrow.

The section opens for public on April 1 and importantly there would be no increase in fares with the increase in distances to be covered by the train, DMRC sources said.

Delhi Development Authority Vice Chairman Dinesh Rai, local MPs and MLAs would be present at the flagging off ceremony to be held tomorrow afternoon.

The new section had six stations -- Dwarka Sector-9, Dwarka Sector-10, Dwarka Sector-11, Dwarka Sector-12, Dwarka Sector-13 and Dwarka Sector-14. The last station in the section is Dwarka Sector-9.

With this, 6.5 km would be added to the Delhi Metro network that would now cover over 62 km. While earlier the maximum distance between two stations on the network was 40.5 km from Rithala to Dwarka, it would now be 47 km from Rithala to Dwarka Sector-9.

However, there would be no change in the fare structure. While the minimum fare would remain Rs six, the maximum would also continue to be Rs 22 for travel beyond 39 km.

With Metro's commercial operations starting from April 1, the residents of Dwarka and nearby areas would be connected through the Metro to the Connaught Place in the heart of the capital. The opening of the 6.5 km extension would 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 city.

Trains on the Barakhamba Road-Dwarka line, which only ran 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 was likely to take just over 50 minutes (54 minutes to be precise), much less than the commuting time by a bus.

With the extension of the line, DMRC's ridership was expected to increase by about 20,000-25,000 a day.

A unique feature of the Metro stations in the Dwarka sub-city was that the stations were 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 would be every ten minutes. However, as the ridership level rose, the frequency would be also increased.

The go-ahead for the opening of the route followed a clearance by the Commissioner for Railway Safety, which carried out an inspection of the system earlier this week.

Trial runs on the extension had been going on since March 5.

Interestingly, the 6.5 km stretch from Dwarka Sector 14 to Sector 9 was that the construction work on it had been completed in a record time of 22 months.

Also, the cost incurred on building the Metro stations was 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 was 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 was 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 crore of which the Delhi Development Authority had 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 would be borne by the Delhi Metro Rail Corp on its own.

Availability of a dedicated corridor meant that the construction work on the extension of the Metro to Dwarka had been completed in a record time of 22 months, including setting up of all technical systems such as lifts, escalators, AFC and signalling.

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

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 was the only stretch where the Metro tracks or viaduct was 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 had provided 250 sq km of parking space beneath the viaduct.

The DDA making land available around the Metro stations also meant that the area surrounding the Metro stations would, in course of time bear a 'chic' and 'fresh' look compared to those on other lines of the DMRC.

For example, the DDA planned 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 were being developed by the DDA.

There had also been a greater focus on aesthetics while building the stretch. In course of time, columns supporting uniformly-designed stations would complement the look of the area.

''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,'' sources 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.
Work was 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,'' it was stated.

For this extension, DDA would 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 was expected to take about one-and-a-half year.

Meanwhile, work was 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,'' DMRC sources 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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