The upcoming Mukundpur-Shiv Vihar corridor of Delhi Metro, set to be the longest line once it starts functioning, will not be operational in its entirety before August next year, due to delay in getting land in certain pockets.
The 59-km-long Pink Line, which will cover north, west, south and east Delhi and bridge the gap between certain parts by over 15 km, had a deadline of December this year. It is part of metro’s Phase-III construction.
“The entire modification of this stretch, including demolition of already erected piers, redesigning of the new piers, has cost this stretch a delay of about eight months and a monetary burden of about Rs 8 crore,” a Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) official said.
The elevated alignment of the corridor passes over National Highway 24 towards Ghaziabad at two locations, between Vinod Nagar and Vinod Nagar East and between IP Extension and the Vinod Nagar Metro depot. The delay is linked to construction of pillars on these stretches.
Though work in other parts is nearing completion, the irritants in these patches will hold back its final launch as these portions lead to the upcoming depot at Vinod Nagar.
“In view of the delay in getting certain pockets of land for the project, the DMRC management is reviewing the trial schedules and subsequent opening of the lines to optimise the time loss to the maximum extent possible,” DMRC spokesperson Anuj Dayal said.
“However, since a new type of signalling system is being introduced for the first time in India, namely Communication Based Train Control, sufficient technical trial period will be needed for the same,” he said.
Two of the three piers erected on either side of NH 24 as per the old plan had to be dismantled, while one pier was modified as per the new plan chalked out after deliberations among DMRC, NHAI and Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. DMRC began work on these sections after getting clearance from the Ministry in March, 2013.
However, a year later NHAI informed DMRC that there should not be any Metro pier “within the 90 metres of Right of Way of National Highway 24, since the stretch was now a part of Meerut Expressway project.”
In subsequent meetings, the issue of providing adequate vertical clearance above the highways was discussed and an agreement was reached with modifications, a DMRC official said.
But construction work halted once again in January 2015 as NHAI sent a stop work letter to DMRC saying the horizontal location of the piers on NH 24 was infringing on their proposed carriageway. Subsequently, the ministry intervened and held a series of meetings to hammer out a solution.
After obtaining all necessary clearances, DMRC could resume work at these locations in March this year.