In the next three months, Delhi Metro’s highspeed Airport Express Line will extend deeper into Dwarka sub-city, thanks to a 1.7 km underground section that is now nearing completion.
The stretch would extend the standalone corridor of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation between New Delhi station and Dwarka Sector 21 to Dwarka Sector 25, to link it to the upcoming India International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
DMRC officials said civil work of the underground station, which was coming up inside the IICC complex, was almost complete. It is expected that the section would open in July or at the most by August. The plan is to provide connectivity from the underground station to the convention centre through subways, which have been constructed.
Construction work on the Rs 310 crore project started in 2018 and was expected to be completed by 2021, but Covid-19 put a spanner in the works. The corporation has been working on a war footing to complete the project and make it operational by mid-2022.
Most of the tunnelling work was completed last year and work of laying standard gauge tracks was also carried out. The tunnelling was done using the cut-and-cover method, while the Urban Extension Road-II was crossed through “box push” technique.
DMRC is also procuring 24 special coaches, which would be turned into four six-coach trains and operated on Airport Express Line. The extra trains would help maintain adequate frequency on the high-speed corridor when it is extended to IICC in Dwarka Sector 25.
At present, Airport Express Line connects New Delhi to Dwarka Sector 21, with four stations in between — Shivaji Stadium, Dhaula Kuan, Delhi Aerocity and IGI Airport (Terminal 3).
The coaches are different from the ones used in the Delhi Metro network as those from the existing network cannot be used in Airport Express Line. The trains would be standard gauge with a top speed of 132 kmph. As DMRC would be deploying additional trains with the commissioning of this extension, three additional stabling lines at Dwarka depot would be made.
IICC is a major project and would be the first-of-its-kind facility in west Delhi. It would be on the lines of both Pragati Maidan and India Habitat Centre. The state-of-the-art centre would host seminars, conventions and large-scale exhibitions. DMRC was requested to extend Airport Express Line to the exhibition-cum-convention centre to provide high-speed connectivity.
An official said the section would be an important extension of Airport Express Line as IICC was expected to attract visitors from across the world. DMRC expects the extension to further increase footfall on the corridor.