Civil work on a small stretch of non-operational segment on the Delhi Metro’s Pink Line has been completed, thus physically bridging the long-standing gap on the 58 km-long corridor, official sources said on Friday. The Majlis Park-Shiv Vihar corridor or the Pink Line spans 38 stations. However, a small portion in east Delhi’s Trilokpuri area had proved a bottleneck for DMRC authorities for a long time due to which the line remained disjointed for some distance there.
The gap in the line was expected to be plugged by September 2020 but it had got delayed due to repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, the sources had said early October, adding that the total length of the stretch which “remains to be linked is 289 m”. The work was expected to be completed by March 31 this year, but the second wave of the pandemic further stretched the timeline, the sources said on Friday.
“However, the civil work on that segment got completed recently, which is a major achievement. The Pink Line has now been physically bridged,” an official source said. Asked when the stretch is expected to get operational, he said, electrical and other work, and trial runs are yet to be done, before going for the commissioner for Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) clearance, so no date has been decided yet as such.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation authorities had been working on ironing out the land and other issues that have halted the connecting of the two sides on that stretch. The Pink Line was opened in multiple phases in 2018. And, all stations on the line have been opened.
This was a “significant achievement” because the civil construction on this stretch was started in early 2020 and was “repeatedly hampered” by the pandemic-induced lockdowns, and issues such as non-availability of workforce, a senior DMRC official said. Now, track laying and other ancillary works have commenced on this stretch between Mayur Vihar Pocket 1 and Trilokpuri Sanjay Lake following the completion of civil work. In addition, overhead electrification work is also under progress, he said.
The track laying work is expected to be completed by the end of June. Preliminary trials are expected to start thereafter. All efforts are being made to further expedite the progress of work on this particular stretch. The section shall be operational immediately after receiving the mandatory clearances from all authorities concerned, the official said. This corridor will further be extended from Majlis Park to Maujpur in phase-4, making it the longest single metro corridor in India at approximately 70 km.
After completion of the phase-4, the Pink Line will also become the only Ring Corridor of Metro in the country, the DMRC said. The first section to be opened on the Pink Line was the over 20 km-long Majlis Park-Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus segment in March 2018, which for the first time connected the north and south campuses of the Delhi University, on the metro network.
This was followed by inauguration of the stretch from South Campus to Lajpat Nagar; and then of the Trilokpuri Sanjay Lake segment and eventually of the Lajpat Nagar-Mayur Vihar Pocket 1 part of the line. The bottleneck near Trilokpuri station had arisen due to multiple issues, including land acquisition, resulting in a portion of metro segment, then about a few kilometres remaining incomplete, rendering the Trilokpuri Sanjay Lake station, a terminus.
Before completion of the civil work on the segment, a very small stretch between the Trilokpuri Sanjay Lake and Mayur Vihar Pocket 1 stations was left to be joined. No stations remain to be opened on the Pink Line. The stations on Trilokpuri Sanjay Lake-Shiv Vihar stretch are Trilokpuri Sanjay Lake, East Vinod Nagar-Mayur Vihar-II , Mandawali-West Vinod Nagar, IP Extension, Anand Vihar ISBT, Karkardooma, Karkardooma Court, Krishna Nagar, East Azad Nagar, Welcome, Jaffrabad, Maujpur-Babarpur, Gokulpuri, Johri Enclave and Shiv Vihar. The main highlight of this section of Pink Line is the presence of three interchange stations — Anand Vihar (with Blue Line), Karkardooma (with Blue Line) and Welcome (with Red Line).
The DMRC later, in a statement on Friday, said for expediting work on the Trilokpuri section of Pink Line, the Delhi Metro had adopted a “unique construction method” by using steel girders instead of the conventional concrete ones.”Construction of concrete girders would have required the establishment of a casting yard and it would not have been feasible to set up a casting yard for such a small stretch within a short duration of time. Therefore, steel girders were installed on this stretch,” it said.
A total of 40 steel girders have been placed on 10 spans for the 290 m-long section. These steel girders have been fabricated and brought from a workshop in Ambala in Haryana. This has not only saved time but also there was no need to create a separate casting yard for the concrete casting of the girders, the DMRC said. The length of these girders varies from 16 m to 38 m. The height of the viaduct stands at about 8 m to 9.5 m. A curved span of radius 200 m is also a part of this stretch.
Earlier, in the construction of the Chhattarpur Metro station also, the DMRC had adopted a similar method of using steel structures because the construction of that station was also delayed due to land acquisition issues, officials said. The work on installing these steel girders and casting of deck slab was completed in April just before the second surge in cases during the Covid pandemic, they said.
Once completed, this section will connect the two ends of the Pink Line and will provide seamless connectivity to a long range of localities in the National Capital Region. Important transport hubs such as Nizamuddin Railway Station, Sarai Kale Khan ISBT, Anand Vihar Railway Station, Anand Vihar ISBT, Delhi Cantt. Railway Station, and prominent markets like Dilli Haat – INA, Sarojini Nagar and Lajpat Nagar will get direct connectivity through this corridor. The DMRC is also developing an internal road below the viaduct at Trilokpuri which will connect the Vasundhara Road and Trilokpuri Road. The road will be 140 metres in length. This will help in decongesting the area and will ease the traffic scenario, the officials said.
Work on this small stretch of the Pink Line got delayed due to the unavailability of encumbrance-free land. After following the due process of law, the land was acquired, and rehabilitation and resettlement of project affected persons was done for commencement and completion of construction work, the statement said.