New Delhi: Delhi Metro has set in motion the
process of developing a three-km link between Central
Secretariat and Mandi House by 2014 primarily to decongest the
over-crowded Rajiv Chowk station, even as it awaits the
Centre`s nod for the project.
Part of its ambitious Phase-III, which envisages adding
another 65 km to the Metro network in Delhi, the 3.2-km
underground stretch with two stations -- Janpath and Mandi
House -- is likely to be inaugurated at least a year before
other lines of the project are opened in 2015.
The new stations in Mandi House and Janpath will reduce
pressure on the Rajiv Chowk station, which sees a footfall of
over 4 lakh everyday, and will provide another station for
commuters in the shopping hub of Connaught Place.
The small stretch is part of the Central Secretariat-Red
Fort Standard Gauge line, but the Delhi Metro wants the line
to be completed till Mandi House first by 2014.
"This is a very important link to us. Our priority is to
decongest the Rajiv Chowk station. So, the Board of Directors
of the Delhi Metro decided to finish all preparatory works
before the Phase-III is approved by the Centre," Kumar Keshav,
Director (Projects), Delhi Metro, told PTI on Saturday.
To save time pending the Centre`s nod, Delhi Metro has
already completed the preliminary work like conducting
topographical and geo-technical surveys, finalising the design
for the new stations and floating tenders for construction of
the stretch at a cost of Rs 400 crore, he said.
"Since these preliminary works will take almost six
months, we thought of completing them now rather than starting
them after getting the nod. We will save almost six months
now. All preparatory works have been completed. Work on the
3.2-km stretch will begin immediately after the Centre`s nod,"
Though the entire Phase-III has been approved by the
Delhi Government, the Centre is yet to give its clearance for
the project. The approval may come sometime next year.
The tenders for the line, which were called on November
4, will be opened soon and the contractor will be finalised in
a month`s time, but it cannot be awarded till the Centre`s
clearance comes, Keshav said.
While the civil work will cost Rs 450 crore, total cost
of the entire 3.2-km corridor is Rs 800 crore that includes
signalling and other works.
The Central Secretariat-Mandi House line, once
completed, will be integrated with the Central Secretariat-
Badarpur corridor, thus providing another link between East
and South Delhi. Special features of the Line is that a new station
will come up adjacent to the existing Mandi House station and
will act as a major interchange point for commuters on the
Line 3 (Dwarka Sec-21 to Noida City Centre/Anand Vihar) and
will reduce pressure on the Rajiv Chowk station.
Once the new station comes up, commuters coming from
Noida and Anand Vihar do not have to go to Rajiv Chowk to
board a train to South Delhi. They can board the train from
the new Mandi House station.
Delhi Metro also decided to have a station in Janpath
to further decongest Rajiv Chowk station. The station will be
located somewhere near the Eastern and Western courts.
"This will act as the second station in Connaught
Place and will help us decongesting the Rajiv Chowk station.
This station will be an important one," Keshav said.
The train will depart from Central Secretariat, travel
through Raisina Road, Janpath, Tolstoy Marg before terminating
at Mandi House.
The new Mandi House station will be designed in such a
way that passengers do not have to struggle much to get to the
other side, Keshav said.
"We are trying to making things very easy for
passengers at the Mandi House station. The interchange will be
made very easy. It will be even easier than the facility
now available at the Central Secretariat station," he said.
Once a new station is built at Mandi House, it will be
integrated with the existing one like Metro did in the Central
The Rajiv Chowk station handles over 3 lakh passengers
a day and officials feel that it will reach its saturation
point in another three-four years.
Delhi Government cleared three routes-- from Central
Secretariat to Red Fort (6.8 km), Rajouri Garden to Mukundupur
(12.4 km) and Jahangirpuri to Badli (3.4 km) in October as
suggested by the Metro.
The routes on which the Metro has been asked to rework
are Anand Vihar to Dhaula Kuan to be extended till Rajouri
Garden, Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar via Jamia Nagar,
Pitampura, Badli and a few other stations to Noida (44.85 km)
and Ashok Park to Delhi Gate.