A delay in acquiring land owned by the defence ministry threatens to jeopardise the Delhi Metro’s efforts to complete the third phase of its expansion within the 2016 deadline, sources have indicated.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation needs three plots owned by the ministry — a 5km stretch for the Janakpuri West-Botanical Garden corridor, a smaller plot for the Mukundpur-Shiv Vihar corridor and another for the Central Secretariat-Kashmere Gate corridor.
The utility needs to acquire a plot near Palam in southwest Delhi for its Janakpuri West-Botanical Garden corridor. Sources in the DMRC said the request for the plot was made two years ago.
“We may still manage to complete the civil work of this corridor if we can acquire the plot within two months,” a DMRC project engineer said. “But further delay may hamper our plans of completing construction by 2016,” he said.
The utility needs the Palam plot to build entry and exit points at the Indira Gandhi Domestic Airport Metro station, ramps at the Shankar Vihar Metro station and align lines between the Dwarka flyover and the Dwarka underpass.
The DMRC sources claimed that the “unavailability” of the Palam plot would hinder the pace of construction in a “big way”. The DMRC has been unable to complete more than 20% of the construction of the corridor since it begun work in 2011.
A DMRC spokesperson, however, was optimistic. “We are hopeful of acquiring the plots soon and completing the project on time,” Anuj Dayal, its chief spokesperson, said, adding, “Acquiring defence land is a process that takes time.”
Anticipating a delay in the acquiring the plots, the DMRC had last year sought help from the ministry of urban development. Since its request, several inter-ministerial meetings have taken place but no significant progress has been made, the sources added.