For Bhavna Sharma, a 30-year-old travel executive who lives in Vaishali and works at south Delhi’s Nehru Place, travelling the long way to work and back was a daily struggle. Things, however, were different on Thursday.
The Central Secretariat-Janpath-Mandi House section of Delhi Metro, which was opened to public from Friday noon, is just 3.23-km-long but has made travelling easier for thousands of commuters like her.
“I took the Metro from Vaishali, got down at Rajiv Chowk and took another train to Central Secretariat. From there, I took the Violet line to Nehru Place. Now I can take the Violet line directly from Mandi House. I won’t have to change trains twice, can save at least 15 minutes of travel time and avoid the crowd at Rajiv Chowk,” she said.
The section, which opened on Thursday, is an extension of the Central Secretariat-Badarpur corridor, which will be further extended to Kashmere Gate by the end of 2015.
It took about 2.5 years to be completed and though construction work was done by March 2014, safety clearance from the Commissioner for Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) took time.
Thanks to the new section, commuters from south Delhi going to Noida, Vaishali or Dwarka, can now change trains at Mandi House without having to go to the crowded Rajiv Chowk. Trains will be available at a frequency of 3.25 minutes.
Another big advantage of this alternative route is the likely decongestion of the busy Rajiv Chowk station. At present, it is a major interchange station and sees heavy footfall throughout the day. Not only do people change trains here for the blue and yellow lines, but those travelling by the violet line also get down here.
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation will extend this line further to Kashmere Gate, connecting ITO, Delhi Gate, Jama Masjid and Red Fort. The total Central Secretariat-Kashmere Gate section will be 9.37-km-long and will connect busy areas such as ITO that are frequented by thousands of people every day. As it would connect many areas of the old city, the line is also being called the ‘Heritage Line’.
By 2016, the Mandi House section is expected to cater to 70,000 commuters daily. Metro’s Phase III expansion will see an addition of 140km to the network and is expected to be completed by March 2016.
Phase III will connect Ring Road, Outer Ring Road, Faridabad, Bahadurgarh and outer Delhi areas such as Badli and Majlis Park.