The ITO-Kashmere Gate ‘Heritage Line’ of Delhi Metro has received safety clearance, paving the way for its long-awaited commercial launch. The Commissioner of Metro Railway Safety (CMRS) gave the clearance following an inspection of the 5.17-km-long corridor on May 22-23, a DMRC official said. “The line will be opened very soon, possibly this week. We will shortly announce the date,” the official said.
With the launch, metro will make a major foray into old Delhi or the ‘Walled City’, with three stations– Delhi Gate, Jama Masjid and Red Fort. The new line, which is essentially an extension of the Violet Line that runs between Faridabad and ITO presently, will take considerable load off the Chandni Chowk and Chawri Bazar stations of Yellow Line.
Once the section is launched, residents of the densely- populated area, made up of areas in and around the Mughal seat of power ‘Shahjahanabad’, will have direct access to commercial centres such as Connaught Place, Janpath, offices in Central Secretariat, and the satellite town of Faridabad.
‘Shahjahanabad’, with the Red Fort as its crowning glory, was founded by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the mid 17th century.
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The three stations of this line, all underground, have been designed in accordance with the heritage of the area to provide glimpses of its rich past and vibrant present.
The DMRC had approached the CMRS, the nodal body that deals with matters pertaining to the safety of rail travel and train operations in the country, for the inspection of the line in March.
The DMRC has also submitted papers to the ISA (Independent Safety Assessor) for safety certification of signalling systems of the section, where trial runs of trains had begun last August.
CMRS declares any corridor fit for commercial operations after taking several civil and engineering aspects into consideration.
DMRC chief Mangu Singh had said the line was well on course for launch last December but a labour crunch triggered by a ban on construction and demolition activities and demonetisation led to the delay.