The Delhi Cabinet on Monday deferred the decision to provide a second Metro connectivity to the IGI Airport from Dwarka. The DMRC had proposed the extension of the existing Dwarka line to the airport keeping in view the expected traffic scenario upto the year 2021.
The Delhi government has already approved a high-speed express link from New Delhi station to IGI Airport with intermediate stations at Shivaji Stadium and Moti Bagh. The project, however, is yet to be approved by the Centre.
The proposed extension of connecting Dwarka with the airport on the existing line III is 4 km long and would cost Rs 562 crore. The line would meet the express link at the airport but both would not be linked.
The Cabinet deferred the decision as one minister pointed out that instead of Metro, the High Capacity Bus System should be used to connect the airport. Another minister said a cost benefit analysis should be done before giving nod to the project, as the 4 km route does not have much traffic.
DMRC Spokesman Anuj Dayal said the Master Network of the Metro by the year 2021 has 321 km of route length in the city. “The proposal to extend the Dwarka line is part of the Master Network,” he said. Dayal said the airport is a happening place and great movement is expected in the next few years.
Interestingly, in the 17th meeting of the Empowered Committee on Delhi MRTS held on August 11, the MD of DMRC had made a presentation highlighting two options for the Metro to airport. The first was the high-speed express link and the second was the extension of the Dwarka line. Ironically, the second option neither found favour with the Empowered Committee nor was it discussed or approved by the Board of Directors of DMRC.
Subsequently, when the first proposal ran into difficulties with the Centre, the DMRC revived the second option so that Metro connectivity is brought to the airport at the earliest.