Updated: August 7, 2021 9:10:48 am
The Delhi Metro’s Pink Line started operating as a single corridor on Friday with train services launched on a 1.5-km stretch between Mayur Vihar Pocket I and Trilokpuri Sanjay Lake stations where construction work was delayed due to land acquisition issues.
Till Thursday, trains operated on two separate sections — Majlis Park-Mayur Vihar I and Trilokpuri Sanjay Lake-Shiv Vihar — of the 58.6-km Pink line, which is Delhi Metro’s longest corridor. From 3 pm on Friday, the entire line between Majlis Park and Shiv Vihar started working as one.
Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal flagged off the first train on the missing link during a launch ceremony held virtually on Friday. In their brief speeches, both stressed that the bridging of the missing link, which is short in terms of length, was a very significant step forward.
“It is a small but critical stretch. DMRC Managing Director Mangu Singh met me several times as worked towards sorting out the rehabilitation issues pertaining to this stretch,” Kejriwal said. Puri said, “The stretch might appear small, but in terms of providing connectivity, is it very crucial.”
The missing link could not be bridged for over two years due to land acquisition and rehabilitation issues. Houses of 108 families in Trilokpuri’s Block 15 fell on the disputed 1.5 km long stretch. Metro struggled to relocate them to nearby flats. Eventually, a lottery was held for allotment of flats to the affected families under the supervision of the Delhi High Court.
DMRC is also developing a road below the elevated metro line at Trilokpuri which will connect Vasundhara and Trilokpuri to help decongest the area.
Now, people travelling from west Delhi and south Delhi areas such as Shalimar Bagh, Punjabi Bagh, Mayapuri, Delhi Cantonment, Sarojini Nagar, South Extension, Lajpat Nagar will be able to reach the transport hub of Anand Vihar ISBT and railway station directly.
On the other hand, north-east and east Delhi residents staying in localities such as Shiv Vihar, Maujpur, Jaffrabad, Welcome, Krishna Nagar, Karkardooma, Vinod Nagar, Mandawali and Mayur Vihar will be able travel directly to the Sarai Kale Khan ISBT and Nizamuddin railway station and south campus colleges of the Delhi University.
However, trains will slow down between Mayur Vihar I and Trilokpuri stations as work on integrating the signalling system has not been completed yet. The signalling is likely to switch to automated mode by October. Till then, trains will run at an average speed of 16 to 17 km/hour and maximum 25 km/hour along this 1.5-km stretch.
“The integration of the signaling system of this particular stretch in an already operational line is a challenging task and it is expected to get the system commissioned in about the next two months,” DMRC Executive director (corporate communications) Anuj Dayal said.
According to the operational plan prepared by the Metro, every alternate train will travel between Majlis Park and Shiv Vihar and vice-versa. “Some trains departing from Majlis Park will terminate at Sarai Kale Khan station. While some departing from Shiv Vihar will terminate at IP Extension. Similar arrangements are in place in Yellow Line also where not all trains ply between the terminal HUDA city centre and Samaypur Badli stations. Some trains serve the loop between Qutub Minar to Vishwavidyalaya stretch based on ridership demand,” a DMRC official said.
With the opening of this section, the DMRC network has become about 390 kilometres long with 285 stations (including the Noida–Greater Noida Metro Corridor and Rapid Metro, Gurugram). The Pink Line will be further extended from Majlis Park to Maujpur in Phase IV, making it the longest single metro corridor in India at approximately 70 km.
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