What could have been a quick interchange station at Dhaula Kuan,will now be two metro stations 700 meters apart leaving commuters at the mercy of feeder services to switch from one corridor to another.
Owing to land acquistion and technical problems,the upcoming Dhaula Kuan Metro station on the Mukundpur-Yamuna Vihar corridor is planned about a kilometre away from the existing station of the Airport Metro.
The Dhaula Kuan Metro station is plotted between Moti Bagh and Delhi Cantonment stations on the 54km Mukundpur -Yamuna Vihar/Shiv Vihar corridor. The corridor will run along the Ring Road. This corridor is expected to make commuting to any part of the city much quicker with a number of interchange stations planned along the line.
Had the new station and the Airport Metro station been connected,commuters from East or West Delhi could easily switch at the Dhaula Kuan station to reach the IGI airport. As of now,commuters have to come to New Delhi station to interchange and take a Metro to the airport.
Jitendra Tyagi,Director (Works),Delhi Metro,said,There were problems of land acquistion because on both sides of the existing station,the land is either owned by the Air Force or the Army. Also,if we re-route the corridor to run through the existing station,we would have to take a detour of at least one kilometre to get back to the Ring Road.
If there is a demand for interchange facilities,we could introduce a shuttle service between the two stations, Tyagi said.
This comes as a repeat of the New Delhi Metro station story,where the station of the Airport Metro is about 300 metres away from it. Since commuters headed to the airport have luggage to carry,the process of exiting one station and walking to the other becomes cumbersome and,as a result,many do not opt for the interchange,said sources.
New Delhi Metro station,part of the Jahangirpuri-Huda City Centre corridor,is one of the busiest stations of the Metro network and connects to the New Delhi railway station. While planning the Airport Metro corridor,the New Delhi station was considered to be the originating point because of these considerations.
However,despite repeated requests from Reliance Infrastructure the concessionaire operating the Airport Metro corridor to connect the stations internally or by a ramp or walkway,no such measure has been put in place.
The concessionaire had reportedly told Delhi Metro that better connectivity between Airport Metro line and other corridors could have contributed to a higher ridership on the Airport line.
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