The Delhi metro’s longest line — Mukundpur-Shiv Vihar corridor (58.596 km) — which is being built to connect north and west Delhi with south and eastern parts of the city -- will be delayed by at least eight months and will be launched in August 2017.
The line was scheduled to be launched in December 2016, but delay in getting land at east Delhi’s Trilokpuri and expansion of National Highway-24 will delay the project.
Though the two factors are affecting only a 5-km stretch of this line, this portion provides crucial connectivity to the depot, without which, it would be impossible to start the line.
“The construction work is in its last leg but with no connectivity to the depot, we won’t be able to start the line for the passengers. We can conduct trial runs in patches, but passengers will be able to use the line, once we have the link to the depot ready,” said a Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) official.
The elevated alignment of the corridor passes over the National Highway-24 towards Ghaziabad at two locations – between Vinod Nagar and Vinod Nagar East and between IP Extension and the Vinod Nagar metro depot.
With a total of 10 interchange stations, the line is set to take off load from the existing interchange stations, especially the crowded Rajeev Chowk metro station. “The line is constructed in a way that it will decongest all the other lines. A major benefit is that there are 10 interchange stations and starting from north Delhi, the line with come to northeast via west, south and east Delhi,” said a DMRC official.
According to DMRC, the crisscrossing of Phase-3 lines with the existing lines at many places will lead to emergence of several interchange stations, thus, shortening the distance between two different parts of the city by up to 15 kms at some locations.
The DMRC had begun work on these sections after obtaining the necessary clearance from the ministry of road transport and highways in March 2013. In June 2014, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) informed the DMRC that there should not be any metro structure within 90 metres of Right of Way (ROW) of National Highway-24, since the stretch was now a part of the Meerut Expressway project.
In September 2014, a decision was taken in a meeting between DMRC and NHAI to accommodate the DMRC proposal. In subsequent meetings also, the issue of providing adequate vertical clearance above the highways was discussed between the two organisations and an agreement was reached with modifications. The construction work started again with the permission of the ministry.
But in January 2015, NHAI again issued a stop work letter to DMRC and said that the horizontal location of the piers on NH-24 was infringing their proposed carriageway.
In June 2015, the ministry of road transport and highways had a meeting with all the involved organisations to find a solution. After obtaining all the necessary clearances, the DMRC has finally begun work again in March 2016.With no work for almost two years, the passengers will suffer now. DMRC had already erected six pillars and now it is in the process of dismantling four of them.
“The location of pillars have been decided now and work on the new plan has started. There has been a slight change in the route but our team has managed it well. We have got the land in Trilokpuri and work will begin now,” the official added.
Locals in Trilokpuri have moved the court as they do not want to shift from where they were living. The court has now asked DMRC to rehabilitate them.