As the masons shovel mortar onto their trowels and slap it on the concrete structure being made, a bespectacled man, clad in a high-visibility neon jacket with a helmet safely secured around his head, looks on. The afternoon sun is unbearable and beads of sweat roll down his forehead. In the distance, one can see the newly-constructed curved viaduct, beyond which lies the busy Outer Ring Road.
Peering over large white sheets titled ‘Plan for Rohini Sector-18 Metro station’, the engineer traces several lines in black, green and yellow with his pencil.
“This is the Jahangirpuri Extension line, which has three new stations coming up at Badli Mor, in Rohini Sector-18 and at Samaipur Badli. The Rohini Sector-18 Metro station, where we are presently standing, is 90 per cent complete. Other stations too are 75-90 per cent complete. We are confident that if construction goes on at this pace, the line will be fully operational by its scheduled opening in March 2015,” the engineer said.
FOCUS ON AREAS WITH LOW CONNECTIVITY
The third phase of Delhi Metro expansion will add another 140 km to the existing network. With the completion of this phase, the Metro network in Delhi and NCR will reach 330 km, making it one of the largest Metro systems in the world. Delhi Metro is expecting a ridership of 39 lakh per day after these corridors become operational by 2016.
The focus of this phase, DMRC officials said, is on areas not very well connected with the rest of the city by public transport. The Jahangirpuri-Badli section, for example, is bringing Metro to the Badli industrial area that houses a number of factories, where scores of daily-wage labourers travel to work. “Metro connectivity will make travel easier for them.
We expect nearly 11,000 riders to benefit in areas like Badli, Swarup Nagar, Bawana road, Transport Nagar, GT Karnal road, Holambi Kalan and Nathupura in Outer Delhi bordering Haryana,” a spokesperson said.
Similarly, DMRC is expecting a daily ridership of 11,189 people by 2016 at Mukundpur station alone, on the Ring Road line, that will benefit commuters from Mukundpur, Sant Nagar and neigbouring localities in North Delhi.
“On the same line, stations like Gokulpuri, Johri Enclave and Shiv Vihar will benefit nearly 17,000 commuters travelling everyday from Shiv Vihar, Johri Enclave, Johripur Ambedkar Nagar, Indira Enclave, Indira Vihar, etc., in Northeast Delhi,” the spokesperson added.
The sixth section, which extends the Blue Line from Dwarka upto Najafgarh, will connect the most far-off corner of Southwest Delhi to the city centre. The three upcoming stations — at Najafgarh depot, municipal corporation and Najafgarh residential areas — are expected to have a daily ridership of 48,000, bringing the urban transport facility to the doorstep of those visiting the Sai Baba Mandir in the area, commuters using road transport at Najafgarh depot as well as employees of the Delhi Jal Board office, pumping station, municipal commissioner’s office and the Primary Rural Health Training Centre.
DMRC officials said the section extending the Green Line from Mundka to Bahadurgarh will be used regularly by more than 96,000 commuters on an average from Mundka, Ghevra and Tikri Kalan areas in West Delhi and Bahadurgarh in Haryana by 2016-17.
“The extension till Faridabad, which will benefit people in areas like YMCA and Escorts Hospital, will have a daily ridership of more than 1.79 lakh as per our estimate. The Faridabad Metro corridor is the longest Metro expansion taken up by DMRC so far in NCR. The route length of 13.8 km will put Faridabad ahead of Gurgaon, Noida and Ghaziabad, where the total Metro network is 7.5 km, 7 km and 2.57 km respectively,” the spokesperson said.
MORE INTERCHANGE POINTS
Metro officials pointed out that an increase in inter-change points in the network will not only reduce travel time and prove cost-effective for commuters, but will also be helpful from the security perspective. At present, there are three main interchange points and three other exchange points. Eight new points are coming up in Phase-3, bringing the total number of interchange points in the Metro network to 14.
“When there are more inter-change points, travel becomes easier for commuters as they have to change less number of trains. This also cuts travel time and fare a traveller pays to reach the desired destination. Moreover, it is helpful for DMRC officials to manage a station as the rush is reduced on existing inter-change points. The footfall load is shared. Less rush also helps in better security,” a senior DMRC official said.
At present, the three main interchange points witnessing the highest footfall are Kashmere Gate, where the Red Line (Rithala-Dilshad Garden) meets the Yellow Line (Jahangirpuri-Gurgaon); Rajiv Chowk, where the Blue Line (Noida/Vaishali-Dwarka) meets the Yellow Line; and Central Secretariat, where the Yellow Line meets the Violet Line (Central Secretariat-Badarpur).
The other three inter-change points are New Delhi, where the Yellow Line meets the Orange Line, also known as the Airport Express Line (New Delhi-Dwarka); Dwarka Sector-21, where the Blue Line meets the Orange Line, and Inderlok, where the Red Line meets the Green Line till Mundka.
With the completion of Phase-3 expansion, Delhi Metro will have the following 15 interchange points, including the first exchange point in NCR at Botanical Garden Brown Line, the longest route along Ring Road, will have nine inter-change points — at Azadpur, Netaji Subhash Place, Rajouri Garden, INA, Lajpat Nagar, Mayur Vihar Phase-1, Anand Vihar, Karkarduma and Welcome.
Pink Line, covering Outer Ring Road, will have four inter-change points — at Janakpuri West, Hauz Khas, Kalkaji Mandir and Botanical Garden.
The Heritage Corridor, from Central Secretariat to Kashmere Gate, has two inter-change points that are already functional — at Central Secretariat and Mandi House.
The Botanical Garden Metro station is all set to emerge as the first ever inter-change Metro station in the NCR outside Delhi. This station will provide inter-change between the currently operational Blue Line (Noida City Centre-Dwarka Sector-21) and the upcoming Outer Ring Road corridor (Janakpuri West-Botanical Garden).
“The Botanical Garden Metro station will connect Noida directly with important locations of South Delhi such as Nehru Place, Kalkaji, Hauz Khas, etc. The domestic airport will also get direct connectivity with Noida for the first time, reducing the travel time between the two to 40 minutes. The travel time between Noida and Gurgaon will come down by about half-an-hour to 50 minutes with the inter-change at Hauz Khas. Presently, the ride from HUDA City Centre in Gurgaon to Botanical Garden in Noida takes about 1.5 hour, with inter-change at the busy Rajiv Chowk Metro station,” a DMRC official said.
The projected inter-change load of the new station, as per the Detailed Project Report, will be 97,780 in 2016. Presently, approximately 14,000 passengers use the station everyday.
In an effort to boost tourism and reduce road traffic in congested Old Delhi, DMRC is building a 9.3-km Heritage Corridor that will pass through the Walled City and provide greater accessibility to several monuments located there once it is completed by December 2015. The line will have the following seven stations: Janpath: A major shopping destination for both foreigners and local tourists.
Mandi House: Home to several auditoriums such as Shri Ram Centre, Kamani Auditorium and National School of Drama.
ITO: The upcoming Metro station is opposite Doll’s museum. At a stone’s throw from the station is Gandhi Bhawan.
Delhi Gate: The upcoming Metro station is opposite the 17th century Delhi Gate, one of the main gateways to the historic city of Shajahanabad.
Jama Masjid: The station is close to the ancient mosque constructed by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.
Red Fort: One of the three UNESCO World Heritage sites in the city.
Kashmere Gate: The Metro station is all set to get a new inter-change point.
Not only the Heritage Corridor, the Hazrat Nizamuddin Metro station coming up on the Brown Line along Ring Road will provide greater connectivity to the shrine of Sufi saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya as well as Humayun’s Tomb.
With the completion of this corridor, all three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the city — Qutub Minar, Red Fort and Humayun’s Tomb — will have Metro stations closeby.
“DMRC has also made Metro Tourist Cards available for Rs 100 for unlimited travel for one day and Rs 250 for unlimited travel for three days. Boosting tourism is important for us. We already have Metro stations close to Akshardham temple, India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhawan, Jantar Mantar, Lotus temple, Safdarjung tomb, Purana Qila, Delhi zoo and Dilli Haat, among others,” the spokesperson said.