“It’s a feat of engineering,” said Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) spokesperson Anuj Dayal on Monday during a media tour of the Pink Line — a portion of which will open on Wednesday. Dayal was referring to the highest point of the line — 23 metres — between Delhi Cantonment and Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus stations. This is the highest the DMRC has ever been, necessitated by the already elevated Airport Line.
Comprising 12 stations, the 21.56 km Majlis Park-Durgabhai Deshmukh South Campus section will be flagged off by Union Minister of State Hardeep Singh Puri and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at 4 pm on March 14 from Metro Bhawan. Passenger services will begin from 6 pm the same day, an official said.
It is part of the 59 km Majlis Park-Shiv Vihar line under Phase III — the longest yet. It is still under construction, and the full line is expected to be operational by June. “The line will have only six-coach trains, with a frequency of 90-100 seconds,” Dayal said.
Interchange stations at Azadpur, Netaji Subhash Place and Rajouri Garden will connect the Yellow, Red, and Blue lines, respectively, to the Pink Line. The line will also bring Delhi University’s South Campus under the Metro system. “The average speed of the train on the line is 34 kmph,”said Vikas Kumar, executive director (operations), DMRC.
During Monday’s media preview, after a short halt on the elevated stretch, the unattended train operation (UTO) mode kicked in. Skipping the intermediate stations, the train headed to Rajouri Garden, where an estimated 1.6 lakh people are expected to change stations every day once the Pink Line becomes operational.
The station will have two pairs of travelators to help commuters cover the 250-metre distance to get to the other line. “As both lines (Blue and Pink) are elevated at this junction but at different heights, the DMRC felt travelators would help commuters exchange stations with greater ease. We have two pairs of travelators — 50 metres long and the other 30 metres — just like at IGIA,” a Metro official said.
According to the DMRC, 11 travelators will also connect the Dhaula Kuan station on the Airport Line to the South Campus station. The next stop was Netaji Subhash Place, a semi-underground station. As the platform screen doors and train doors opened simultaneously, one can spot the polished tiles, potted plants and 36 painting panels.
“This is unique because it is semi-underground,” said Dayal. “The platform is just a few metres underground… in most other cases, the depth is usually greater,” an official said.
According to Metro officials, a total of 19 trains will be in service on the line. Trains will also ply on two shorter routes — between Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus and Shakurpur, and Majlis Park and Shakurpur stations.
The trains are similar to the ones on the Magenta Line — driverless, multi-coloured seats (orange, blue, pink and red), darker shades for reserved seats, a special demarcated area for persons on wheelchairs, USB and three-pin recharge ports and three-handle poles for commuters who would prefer to stand. The stations are also equipped with platform screen doors.