The Delhi Metro, which has issued tenders for the topographical survey of its six lines under Phase 4 approved by Delhi government, plans to start construction by August.
The lines under Phase 4, in addition to the 140 kilometres added in Phase 3, are expected to free up traffic bottlenecks in congested central and southern parts of the city, and help passengers from outer Delhi.
Phase 3 of Metro’s expansion is likely to be completed by mid-2017.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has been seeking approval to start Phase 4’s construction for over a year. The new phase will particularly benefit south Delhi as residents will have the option of taking the Metro to go to the airport.
After the completion of Phase 4, the Delhi Metro will become the largest Metro system outside China to carry about seven million passengers every day. Right now, it is the 11th largest Metro system. After Phase 3’s completion, we should be fourth or fifth.
The DMRC has proposed to build a 20-km corridor between the existing Aerocity and Tughlakabad Metro stations. The line will go through densely populated areas of Sangam Vihar, Saket, Mehrauli, Vasant Kunj and Mahipalpur of south Delhi. The Delhi government rejected a proposal to extend it to the Terminal 1 station.
Passengers travelling on the Violet (ITO-Faridabad) Line have the option of taking the Metro for this corridor from Tughlakabad, while passengers on the Yellow (Huda City Centre-Samaypur Badli) Line can board from Saket.
“Currently the airport line is connected only with the Huda City Centre- Samaypur Badli line, at the New Delhi station. Once this line, which is part of Phase 4 of DMRC, is completed, passengers will have different options of going to the airport. From Aerocity, they can take the Airport Line to go to Terminal 3,” said a senior DMRC official.
Phase 4 will add to the ridership of the Airport Line. Almost 15 kilometres of this line will be underground because of space constraints. DMRC officials said they hoped the problem of overcrowding would be solved when lines under Phase 3 of the mass transit system’s expansion become operational.
In May, the AAP government gave in-principal approval but the Centre returned the file, saying they need to give financial approval. Now, deputy CM Manish Sisodia has said that approval has been given and in 72 months, Delhi will have six new lines of Delhi Metro.
When completed, the new lines will expand the reach of Metro network to 434 kilometres across 308 stations. The daily ridership is also likely to go up to 63 lakh from the current 28 lakh.