The Heritage Line, which will connect ITO in central Delhi to Kashmere Gate in the north, will be the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s (DMRC) first new year gift to Delhiites as it is likely to be opened by January end.
Though in 2016, the DMRC was busy constructing 136 km of metro corridors; its major success was conducting a trial run of new metro trains enabled with the ‘Unattended Train Operation (UTO)’.
By the end of the year, the trial runs have been completed on 30 kilometres of new the Metro lines. “During the year, trial runs commenced on ITO–Kashmere Gate section (5.17 km, violet line), Botanical Garden–Kalkaji Mandir (13 km) and Janakpuri West–Terminal 1 of IGI Airport (10 km) sections of the Magenta Line after the completion of civil work on these stretches,” said Anuj Dayal, Delhi metro spokesperson.
On the Janakpuri West–Terminal 1, IGI Airport section, recently an entire six-coach train was lowered on the tracks near the Sadar Bazar Cantonment station using cranes and trailers to expedite the process of trials.
In 2016, the DMRC also completed all tunnelling assignments of Phase 3. It was one of the largest ever tunnelling projects taken up in any urban area all over the world where a record 30 tunnel boring machines (TBMs) were used to bore close to 80 km of underground tunnels (combining the length of both tunnels for to and fro movement of trains). The total underground corridor length in Phase 3, including the stations, is about 54 km.
After connecting commuters at Rajiv Chowk and Kashmere Gate metro stations with WiFi, the DMRC plans to introduce similar facilities at the other stations as well.
In another initiative, smart card recharge facility has been made possible through the e-wallet mobile application Paytm. This new step has helped the commuters recharge their smart cards without cash transactions.
The Delhi Metro continued to break more ridership records during the year. On August 17, over 33 lakh people (33, 36,550) travelled on the metro for the first time ever throughout the day, which happened to be the eve of Raksha Bandhan. A few days earlier, on August 12, the Airport Line also broke the 50,000 mark with 50,077 passengers travelling in a day.