Delhi Metro plans to fully operationalise Pink Line, its longest corridor, by July 31 by getting trains to run on the Mayur Vihar I-Trilokpuri stretch, where work was delayed due to land acquisition and rehabilitation issues.
The 58.6-km Pink Line stretches between Majlis Park and Shiv Vihar, touching densely populated parts of west, south and east Delhi. Currently, trains operate on two separate sections of this line; Majlis Park- Mayur Vihar I and Shiv Vihar-Trilokpuri.
After the 1.5-km missing link is bridged, people travelling from west Delhi and south Delhi areas such as Shalimar Bagh, Punjabi Bagh, Mayapuri, Delhi Cantonment, Sarojini Nagar, South Extension, Lajpat Nagar will be able to reach the transport hub of Anand Vihar ISBT and railway station directly.
On the other hand, north-east and east Delhi residents staying in localities such as Shiv Vihar, Maujpur, Jaffrabad, Welcome, Krishna Nagar, Karkardooma, Vinod Nagar, Mandawali and Mayur Vihar will be able travel directly to the Sarai Kale Khan ISBT and Nizamuddin railway station and south campus colleges of the Delhi University.
Government sources told The Indian Express that by June 30, the pending civil construction work will be completed along the 1.5-km stretch and focus will shift to carrying out the necessary electrical work. By July 20, the corporation plans to apply for inspection by the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CMRS).
A safety clearance from the CMRS is mandatory before throwing open any metro line for passenger operations. For now, DMRC has decided to launch commercial services on the stretch by July 31, which will complete the entire Pink Line.
Houses of 108 families in Trilokpuri’s Block 15 fell on the disputed 1.5 km long stretch. Metro struggled to relocate them to nearby flats. Eventually, a lottery was held for allotment of flats to the affected families under the supervision of the Delhi High Court.
In July, 2019, DMRC said work will finally begin on the stretch and it floated tenders. The Pink Line is shaped like an arc and it runs parallel to the ring road. The Pink Line is also being further extended from Majlis Park to Maujpur.
Metro authorities said that “steady progress” has been made in its construction despite a labour crunch owing to the lockdown which was in place between April 19 and May 30. “Work on Delhi Metro’s fifth bridge over the river Yamuna is also going on as part of this corridor near the Signature Bridge. This corridor is significant as its completion will complete the entire ring of connectivity on the Pink Line,” DMRC said in a statement.
There are currently 285 metro stations across a network measuring 389 kms, including NOIDA-Greater NOIDA Aqua Line and Rapid Metro Gurugram across Delhi and NCR cities. Metro trains are currently being allowed to operate at 50 per cent seating capacity to prevent overcrowding and violation of social distancing norms.
However, ridership has steadily increased over the last few days. As a result, long queues are being observed outside stations across the region, leading to commotion in some cases as the metro is keeping a limited number of entry gates open to regulate the movement of commuters inside the stations.