The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation seems to have had a head start on the 3-km-long Central Secretariat – Mandi House corridor and has drawn up plans to open it almost six months before schedule.

DMRC Managing Director Mangu Singh on Wednesday said the DMRC was in a “comfortable position” regarding the status of the corridor which may be opened as early as March 2014 – six months ahead of its original scheduled opening in September 2014. “The Central Secretariat – Mandi House corridor is a priority route for us since it will help decongest the busy Rajiv Chowk station. We will attempt to open the station before the deadline.”

Mr. Singh also praised the DMRC’s efforts in re-opening the road adjacent to the Tibetan Market in Janpath to the public. “The road is being partially opened for the public from Wednesday, just 17 months after being closed,” he said. Around 300 metres of the Janpath road adjacent to the Tibetan Market was temporarily closed for the public for carrying out construction of the station in October 2011. Now full access is available to shopkeepers of the Tibetan Market.

The DMRC MD also said that platform screen doors will be installed in all stations on Line 7 (Mukundpur – Shiv Vihar) and Line 8 (Janakpuri West – Botanical Garden) under Phase-III of constructions. While six-coach trains will be introduced on these routes, the frequency will be higher – they will run every two minutes, he said.

Clarifying the position of introducing eight-coach trains on all lines, Mr. Singh said: “In a single line, 4-coach, 6-coach and 8-coach trains cannot be run together. Instead, we are phasing out the 4-coach trains and replacing it with 6 coaches. We hope to achieve this by December this year and then 6-coach trains will be converted to 8-coach ones,” he said.

Mr. Singh also said that wherever possible new stations under Phase-III will be integrated with the old ones but where there are site constraints, the stations will be connected through skywalks and ramps.

More In: Delhi