For the last three weeks, a technical snag has reportedly slowed down the high-speed airport metro express that connects the New Delhi Railway Station with terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport.
The snag is causing massive delay in train operations on the 23-km corridor, users and officials said.
A source said, “A major technical problem has been identified on the civil structure of the elevated stretch. The track now is not in a position to withstand pressure of a high-speed train, so trains are running at a slow pace.”
Spokesperson of Reliance Infrastructure, the concessionaire company manning the line, refused to comment when asked about the reason behind the delay.
Commuters said the 18-minute journey between New Delhi and the airport now took more than 30 minutes. “The slow movement of trains and the massive delay in train service has become synonymous with the airport metro express,” said a resident of Dwarka, who takes the airport metro daily to travel between his Connaught Place office and his house.
Another daily commuter, S Iyer of Dwarka, said, “The way the speed is coming down, soon there will not be any difference between the Delhi Metro and airport metro trains.”
Trains suddenly slow down when they reach the elevated stretch of the corridor between Shivaji Stadium and Aerocity. On this six-km stretch, trains run at an extremely slow pace.
“Repair work is on and should be done at least in another two weeks,” said Anuj Dayal, spokesperson of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
“We have roped in two more trains so at least train frequency is maintained. A total of six trains are running on the fleet,” an official of the concessionaire company said.
While a 12-minute frequency is almost maintained during morning peak hours between 8 am and 11 am, it widens as the day proceeds.
From 11am to 9 pm, frequency varies from 15 minutes to 20 minutes. After 9 pm, it is at least 30 minutes.