Metro’s Gurgaon deadline goes off-track to March 2010 | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Metro’s Gurgaon deadline goes off-track to March 2010

delhi Updated: Sep 28, 2009 23:46 IST
Sanjeev Ahuja

Say you're a Gurgaon resident with an office in Delhi and no car, dreaming of the day the air conditioned Delhi Metro chugs into town.

The day you bid goodbye to overcrowded tempos that ferry you to the bus stop on a black cloud of diesel fumes. Goodbye to battling other commuters with elbows and knees to board a rickety DTC bus.

It's time for you to wake up. Because the Delhi Metro is not meandering your way any time soon.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has extended the deadline of the 14-km long Gurgaon line between Qutub Minar and Sushant Lok by two months--from January 31 to March 31, 2010.

The reason for the delay, say DMRC officials, are safety concerns.

In August, a section of an under-construction bridge of the Metro collapsed in Zamrudpur in south Delhi, killing six people.

Faulty design was blamed for the mishap, and subsequent inspection found cracks running through many pillars in lines being constructed.

"We do not want to take any chances with the safety of the passengers and are in no hurry. We have postponed the deadline from January to March 2010," said Anuj Dayal, chief public relations officer, DMRC. Dayal added DMRC managing director E Sreedharan was very particular about strengthening of all cantilever piers.

But one has to go a little off-track to see other reasons may have facilitated the shift.

State assembly elections in Haryana have also been rescheduled from February/March 2010 to October 2009.

It was on the request of Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda at the time of signing the MoU in 2007, that DMRC had moved the deadline of July 2010 to January 2010 last year. Bringing the metro to Gurgaon before polls would have earned Hooda points at the ballot centre.

The Gurgaon stretch has a history of a derailed schedule. The civil work planned to be completed by May 2009 is yet not finished.

According to DMRC officials, however, about 85 per cent of civil work has been completed.