New Delhi: After missing three deadlines,
Delhi Metro`s showcase Airport Express Line will finally roll
out for passenger service in the next 10 days, fulfilling
Delhiites` dream of enjoying a fast and hassle-free ride to
the International Airport.
Though the Airport Express Corridor, that connects the
city`s main shopping hub of Connaught Place with the Airport,
will have a formal inauguration later, the line will start
commercial operations once the CISF guards move in.
The good news is that once the line opens, passengers
of few airlines may be able to check-in their baggage at New
Delhi and Shivaji Stadium stations.
A day after the Centre formally announced that the
security of the Line will be handled by the CISF, Delhi Chief
Minister Sheila Dikshit inspected the corridor and expressed
satisfaction over the operational preparedness.
"The Line is ready (for operations). It is very good,
modern and the only corridor in the country connects the city
with airport. It has been built very beautifully," she told
A senior official of the Delhi Airport Metro Express
Private Limited (DAMEPL) said the line is likely to be made
operational between February 15 and February 20.
The Line promises a quick ride for passengers from CP
to Airport in just 20 minutes with 3 stoppages in between.
Infrastructure at the stations are ready and the train will
run at a speed of 105 km per hour.
Dikshit and Delhi Metro chief E Sreedharan announced
that the Line will start operations in a week`s time though a
formal launch would happen later.
"The formal opening of the Line will take a month`s
time, but the trials (operations) will start within a week`s
time," she said.
Sreedharan said the corridor will be thrown open to
the public once the security personnel move in, which is
likely to happen in a week`s time.
Mangu Singh, Director (Works), DMRC said that the
operations will begin in some time and a formal launch as
desired by the concessionaire will happen in a month`s time.
"Once the security personnel move in, the Line will be
opened for public. Since the concessionaire wants a formal
launch we will have one later," he said.
To begin with, the Line will have a 16-hour service
from 6.00 am to 10.00 pm and some airlines are likely to set up
their check-in counters before the operations start, he said.
The link has missed three deadlines -- October 3
(Commonwealth Games), October 31 and December 31 -- set by the
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and the Union Urban Development