Airport Express Metro Line misses deadline

Delhi`s showcase Airport Express Metro Line will miss its September 30 deadline as the Commissioner of Railway Safety is yet to give his mandatory clearance for the corridor where speed trials have not been conducted so far.

Last Updated: Oct 01, 2010, 17:39 PM IST

New Delhi: Delhi`s showcase Airport Express
Metro Line will miss its September 30 deadline as the
Commissioner of Railway Safety is yet to give his mandatory
clearance for the corridor where speed trials have not been
conducted so far.

The 22-km high-speed corridor that will connect the
city`s shopping hub of Connaught Place with the Indira Gandhi
International Airport was scheduled to be opened to the public
by tomorrow, three days ahead of the Commonwealth Games 2010.

The consortium led by Reliance Infrastructure, which is
the concessionaire responsible for the corridor, is yet to
conduct speed trials which are necessary for the clearance.

CMRS R K Kardam has been inspecting the line since Monday
and he has asked the DMRC for some clarifications this evening
regarding certain deficiencies observed in this line.

DMRC sources said they have forwarded those to the
consortium for implementing the same.

As the trains on the line will run at a speed of 120 km
per hour, CMRS has been insisting on the conduct of speed
trials on the line. But the trial also could not be conducted
on this line so far by the concessionaire.

"DMRC has asked the concessionaire to urgently comply
with the requirements of CMRS," the sources said.

When contacted, a Delhi Airport Metro Express Line
Limited spokesperson said: "Decision on launch would be taken
after receiving all necessary approvals and would be informed
shortly."

The developments have led to uncertainty over the opening
of the line. The Line can be opened only when the deficiencies
are sorted out and the CMRS gives the green signal.

This is the first Metro line in the country to be
implemented on Public Private Partnership basis with DMRC
having completed the civil work with the remaining works
to be done by the concessionaire.

The line promises to take passengers from Connaught Place
to airport in just 18 minutes with stoppages at four stations.
Meanwhile, a DAEMPL spokesman said: "We are closely
working with DMRC and other relevant authorities for a safe
and early start of the Airport Express.

"We are confident that despite unavoidable delays and
with the support of DMRC we will shortly commence operations
of the world class Delhi Airport Express."

PTI