Delhi Metro has been in the limelight over the past several months for some reason or the other. From declaring its intention to launching driverless trains to allowing women to carry self-defence weapons and from launching the Heritage Line to undertaking a major solar energy drive, Delhi Metro has managed to make news and for all the right reasons. In keeping with this trend, here’s the latest achievement of the national capital’s rapid transit system which is a lifeline for city dwellers and commuters from the outskirts of Delhi. The upcoming new Pink Line will feature a stretch where the Delhi Metro train will ply at its highest – at an elevation of 23.6 metres. This revelation came about a week ago, though work on the Pink Line has been on for about 5 years now.
The Pink Line
The Pink Line of the Delhi Metro is slated to be the longest line in the Delhi Metro, running a length of 58.59 kilometres from Majilis Park to Shiv Vihar. Covering about 38 stations including major interchanges such as Azadpur, Netaji Subhash Place, Punjabi Bagh (West), Rajouri Garden, INA Market, Lajpat Nagar, Mayur Vihar, Anand Vihar, and Welcome, the Pink Line is expected to be the busiest line of the Delhi Metro. It runs roughly along the Outer Ring Road – one of the arterial roads of the national capital. This line will feature the new UTO (Unattended Train Operations) or driverless trains – made possible by highly precise automation technology.
The fact that the Pink Line cuts across some of the most congested parts of the city is likely to come as a boon to Delhi dwellers, despite the inconvenience caused by the ongoing construction work. The Pink Line, once inaugurated will considerably reduce travel time across Delhi.
The Highest Point
The Delhi Metro’s Pink Line will travel between Mayapuri and South Campus metro stations (a distance of about 6.8 kilometres) and reach a record height of 23.6 metres, almost the height of a seven storied building. This track will be constructed over the existing Airport Express line at Daula Kuan. Below these lines runs the road that allows road traffic to ply between Sardar Patel Marg and Ring Road. This will surpass the highest existing point of the Delhi Metro at Karkarduma where the train currently plies at a height of 19 meters above the ground.
The construction of this stretch is a complex feat of engineering since attempts are being made not to disrupt the road traffic movement and the Airport Express line that is now operational. An expert team made up of six civil engineers, safety experts and others are overseeing construction operations at the site.
Plagued By Delays
The Pink Line of the Delhi Metro was slated to be inaugurated in December 2016. The construction of this line, in fact the entire Phase III of Delhi Metro including the Pink Line and the Magenta Line has been plagued by delays. Most of these were caused due to land acquisition woes. As of October last year, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) was still struggling to acquire land in a few villages in IP Extension (particularly in Trilokpuri and Hasanpur villages). By March 2017, however, DMRC officials reported that about 90 percent of the construction work of the Pink Line was completed. The line was to be inaugurated by the end of this year but this too seems unlikely now. The deadline for completion of the Delhi Metro’s Pink Line has now been pushed to April 2018. This, however, does not mean that Delhi dwellers will have to wait till 2018 to use this line. Metro train services of the Pink Line are expected to be inaugurated in a phased manner. The stretch between Majlis Park and Lajpat Nagar is likely to be inaugurated in September 2017 and the remaining tract by April 2018.
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