Delhi Metro is set to beat its deadline for extending the Central Secretariat-Mandi House line to ITO by a year, a move that will bring relief to thousands of commuters who battle daily gridlocks on one of the city’s busiest stretches.
More than 22,000 passengers are expected to use the ITO Metro station by 2016, says a project report. The number is likely to cross the 31,000 mark in 2021.
“The opening of a truncated section is a very difficult job and has many complications involved. But we are still trying to open the ITO station at the earliest as it will benefit a large number of people who come here from different parts of the city,” said DMRC spokesperson Anuj Dayal.
Trial runs on the Mandi House-ITO stretch are likely to begin this December, while the original target was December 2015.
“The station will be opened once we get the mandatory clearance from the commissioner of railway safety,” Dayal said.
The ITO station falls on the 9.37-kilometre Central Secretariat-Kashmere Gate line, which has been taken up by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) under its third phase of construction.
The corridor is completely underground and connects office localities in Mandi House and ITO, heritage sites like Jama Masjid and Red Fort, and commercial centres and residential pockets in the old Delhi area.
Apart from people commuting to their offices, the ITO station will also benefit sports enthusiasts who often come to watch football and cricket matches at the Ambedkar and Feroz Shah Kotla stadiums, located at a walking distance.