The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has wrapped up tunneling works of Phase 3 expansion with the completion of a 1.25 kilometre long tunnel between Vasant Vihar and Munirka on the Janakpuri West – Botanical Garden (Magenta) line. With this, the Delhi Metro now hopes to start operations on both its Pink and Magenta lines from March next year.
The Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), which was working on the tunnel from Vasant Vihar, broke through at Munirka on Monday evening. The work on this 1.25 kilometre long tunnel had started in October last year.
“With this tunnel breakthrough, DMRC in Phase 3 has now completed one of the largest ever tunneling projects taken up in any urban area all over the world, where a record 30 TBMs were used to bore close to 80 kilometres of underground tunnels. The total underground corridor length in Phase 3, including the stations, is about 54 kilometres,” said a DMRC spokesperson.
In Delhi Metro’s phase 2, only 35 kilometres was underground, with only 13 kilometres being underground during Phase 1. The underground work of Phase 3 was more than the combined work undertaken in the first two phases, officials said.
“On the 38 kilometre long Janakpuri West – Botanical Garden corridor, where the tunnel breakthrough took place, about 23 kilometres are underground. The tunnelling work on this corridor had multiple engineering challenges. The new tunnels passed below already operational elevated viaducts of Delhi Metro at three locations (at Janakpuri West below Blue Line, near IGI Airport below Airport Line and near Kalkaji Mandir below Violet Line),” the spokesperson added.
At Hauz Khas, the new tunnel also passed below the already operational tunnel of Delhi metro’s Yellow Line.
On the 59 kilometre long Majlis Park – Shiv Vihar Pink corridor, about 19 kilometres are underground. This is the longest ever metro corridor of the DMRC network. Delhi Metro’s longest tunneling drive of 1.6 kilometres from Ashram to Nizamuddin also falls on this section. All the tunneling work on this line has also been completed. At some locations, the TBMs are now being retrieved following the completion of work.
The 9.37 kilometre long Central Secretariat-Kashmere Gate corridor is also entirely underground. While the section up to ITO has already opened, trial runs are in progress on the remaining stretch up to Kashmere Gate. “Tunneling was extremely difficult on this section as well, since almost the entire alignment is dotted with heritage monuments of great historic importance. Moreover, the areas in old Delhi are extremely crowded with many dilapidated buildings, which are more than a century old,” the spokesperson added.