Having long missed its June deadline to reach Noida next-door, the Delhi Metro railway looks unlikely to make it to the suburb this September and, as things stand today, even October as well. The July 12 Jamrudpur mishap has made the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation extra-cautious.
Unwilling to take a chance, the DMRC is taking a fresh look at all its constructions and aspects of operation along the Yamuna Bank-Noida stretch before it is opened to the public. According to sources, the opening of the 13.1-km line from Yamuna Bank in East Delhi to Noida City Centre has been delayed on account of “checks” being carried out to ensure safety of the pillars and cantilevers.
“The DMRC has gone over the design and the construction thoroughly. It does not want a repeat of the Jamrudpur mishap, which left seven dead. It is ensuring that all the cantilevers along the line are sufficiently strengthened,” said a source.
“Another reason for the delay is non-availability of trains. Earlier this year the DMRC got two coaches airlifted from Germany. A lot of money was spent on this because the Corporation was in a hurry to meet the June deadline. However, it has not only been unable to meet the requirement of having eight to nine trains as back-up for the Noida line, it has been saddled with the additional work of rechecking what has already been built so far.”
Sources say the DMRC is yet to start trial runs on the segment between New Ashok Nagar and Noida. “They started the trial runs between Yamuna Bank and New Ashok Nagar, but the trials are yet to begin on the second leg. As things stand, it seems unlikely that the metro will roll out into Noida before the year-end.”
DMRC officials have maintained that it is taking all precautions to ensure that even benign cracks are not left unattended. The Corporation claims that cracks found on the pillars, even though not dangerous, are being attended to. Shirish Patel and Associates had marked out eight cantilever pillars that needed re-strengthening.
With the opening of this section, Delhi Metro’s Line III will comprise of 42 stations and its length will increase to 47.2 km. This will also become the longest operational section of the metro railway. There are ten stations on the upcoming new 13.1-km section, of which four fall within Delhi while six are in Noida. The corridor will be a part of the existing Line III (Blue Line) of the metro system. It will connect Noida City Centre in Sector 32 with Dwarka Sector 9.