Thursday, March 31, 2011

Giant step in Delhi- Metro Rail at your doorsteps

THE BIG LEAP: Over 70 stations will bring Metro closer to everyone in Delhi.
NEW DELHI: If you live in Panchsheel Park, Vasant Vihar, RK Puram, Shalimar Bagh, South Extension, Sarojini Nagar or IP Extension and have been waiting for the Delhi Metro to come to your doorstep, here's some good news. The detailed project report (DPR) of Phase III of the Metro network, submitted by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to the Delhi government, has been finalized. It covers 103.05km of the city, with over 70 stations dotting the alignment. From Mukundpur in North Delhi to Azad Nagar and Yamuna Vihar in east Delhi, and from Punjabi Bagh (west) in west Delhi to Panchsheel Park and Jasola in South Delhi, the alignment interconnects the city forming two rings around it.

Transport Minister Arvinder Singh says, "The DPR will be sent to the Centre soon. We have added another corridor to the existing alignment, from Dwarka Morh to Najafgarh. DMRC has been asked to prepare the detailed project report for this corridor as well." The corridors that have been drawn up in the present DPR are final, says Singh. According to the minister, the primary criterion for the third phase of the Delhi Metro was connection to the large tracts of the city in the west and east that had been left out in the two previous Metro phases. South Delhi also needed better connectivity. "The alignment is quite long, perhaps one of the longest in Delhi but it addresses the transport needs of a large section of the capital," adds Singh. It also provides a connection to the domestic airport, an alternative to the present Airport Express Metro line that connects directly to the international airport.

The alignment is certainly extensive. The present alignment has four major corridors - one from Mukundpur to Rajouri Garden via Dhaula Kuan and all the way to Anand Vihar and thereafter, Yamuna Vihar via Azad Nagar in East Delhi. This corridor, which is the longest in the third phase, is 55.69km in length and has 10 interchange stations on the way. It covers a large demography, from the far-flung localities in Mukundpur and Shalimar Bagh to Moti Nagar and Nariana, ultimately connecting it to the business district of Bhikaji Cama Place and commercial hubs such as South Extension and Lajpat Nagar. From here, the line twists towards Hazrat Nizamuddin and then on to Mayur Vihar. Here, it goes through the congested colonies of Trilokpuri and Vinod Nagar before winding to the middle-class IP Extension. The line then again takes a turn and moves towards Anand Vihar, Jagatpuri, Azad Nagar, and on to Welcome, Jaffrabad and Maujpur to end in Yamuna Vihar.

The second corridor, meanwhile, measuring 33.49km, encircles all the major south Delhi localities. Starting from Janakpuri West, an interchange station, it goes through Dabri Morh, Palam and stops at Indira Gandhi domestic airport. Thereafter, it goes on to Vasant Vihar, Munirka, RK Puram, IIT and Panchsheel Park before connecting Chirag Delhi, GK Enclave and Kalkaji to Okhla, Jamia Nagar, Jasola and Kalindi Kunj. The line finally stops at Botanical Garden (part of line 3: Dwarka sector 21 to Noida City Centre) after a station at Amity Noida.

The shortest alignment is perhaps the Jehangirpuri-Badli line at 4.48km in the third phase. The stations on the way include Badli, Rohini Sector 18 and Jehangirpuri in the present DPR, which then connects to Adarsh Nagar station on line 2 (HUDA City Centre-Jehangirpuri).

While the majority of the alignment is elevated under the present DPR, several parts also go underground. Only the Central Secretariat-Kashmere Gate corridor is completely underground. Of the 103.05km, around 41km is underground track.

According to Singh, work on the third phase is expected to start soon. Singh said, "Part of the funds have already been released by both the Centre and Delhi government. As the work continues, more funds will be made available." As per the funding pattern drawn up by planning commission, part of the funds will be raised from international agencies while around 50% will be put up by the Centre and the Delhi government for the third phase. Singh says that funds are not a problem. "Like the first two phases, the third phase, too, will be funded by JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency). We have received positive response from them," he adds. However, no formal agreements have been signed yet, admits Singh.

Officials say work on the third phase will start with the Central Secretariat-Kashmere Gate and the Yamuna Vihar-Anand Vihar stretches. "The funds made available so far by the Centre and state government will be utilized at present," said an official from DMRC.
Metro Rail is coming to your doorstep

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