New Delhi: Delhiites can look forward to a seamless ride to ITO, which houses several government establishments and is perennially clogged with heavy traffic, as the Delhi Metro is gearing up to throw open the ITO station early next year.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will do trial runs on the Mandi House-ITO stretch by the end of this month, which if successful will be followed by the official opening of the stretch.
"We are attempting to kick start the trial runs by the end of this month," a DMRC spokesperson said.
Depending on the success of the trial run, the officials said, it can be "safely stated" that the section will be made operational early next year.
However, the exact date of the launch of operations cannot be announced at this stage.
"All the operational and safety parameters will be checked during the trial runs. The trial runs have no deadline as such. They will continue for at least one-and-a-half-months if not more," the official said.
Following the trial runs, the Delhi Metro will have to obtain the mandatory safety clearance from the commissioner of Metro Railway Safety without which the station cannot be opened to commuters.
"Getting a safety clearance from the commissioner of Metro Railway Safety is a must. It shall come provided the trial runs are successful. Immediately after that the line will be thrown open to the commuters," the spokesperson added.
The Mandi House-ITO stretch is a part of the upcoming Heritage corridor from Central Secretariat to Kashmere Gate of Metro's Phase-III project, which will have stations at the historical Red Fort, Jama Masjid, and Delhi Gate areas.
The ITO station, according to officials, is almost ready as all the civil work has been completed. A pedestrian subway through the station, connecting Delhi Police Headquarters to The Institution of Engineers (India) building, was thrown open in August.
Once operational, around 22,000 passengers are expected to use the station daily and the number is likely to rise to 31,000, according to Detailed Project Report of DMRC.
The ITO area houses prominent establishments like the Delhi Police headquarters, Delhi Secretariat, Income Tax Office, PWD headquarters and the intersection in its vicinity is a nightmare for regular commuters owing to heavy traffic.