The much awaited ITO-Kashmere Gate ‘Heritage Corridor’ of Delhi Metro will be launched by the end of January, DMRC chief Mangu Singh has said, ruing the combined effect of construction ban and demonetisation behind the delay.
When the metro’s heritage line from ITO to Kashmere Gate – part of phase-3 – opens in January, it will provide the ideal opportunity to explore the Walled City.
The Delhi Gate station in particular will take people closer to Ambedkar and Feroz Shah Kotla stadiums, popular book stores in Daryaganj and Lok Nayak and GB Pant Hospitals.
The first station of this line is Delhi Gate. The station will have five entry /exits that will open to Daryaganj, LNJP Hospital, Ambedkar and Ferozeshah Kotla stadiums and Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg.
The Delhi Metro top honcho termed as “setback” the double whammy of ban on construction activities in the wake of alarming pollution levels and the currency ban, saying the two decisions made the task of retaining labourers difficult.
“It suffered a setback in the last one and a half months. Although it would be possible to present the line to the public by January end,” Singh said.
The 5.17-km-long section, an extension of the Faridabad-ITO corridor (Violet Line), was well on course for a launch this December otherwise, he said.
“If you stop work for 10 days, labourers will not sit idle. Construction came to a halt and nobody knew when it will resume. People waited for one-two days and went away.”
“So remobilising was a difficult job and then this currency ban thing came.
One must appreciate that labourers depend on daily wages for their sustenance. This has really affected work particularly towards the end,” Singh explained.
He said constructing this particular underground section, below the centuries-old walled city, was one of the “most difficult” projects undertaken by the metro with the need to bring in change in “alignments” being one of the factors.
Trial runs began in August on this section that will have three stations - Delhi Gate, Jama Masjid and Red Fort.
Singh, who took over as Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) chief in 2012 from E Shreedharan, is likely to serve for five more years with the Delhi government clearing a proposal in this regard.
The decision, however, will be put before the Urban Development Ministry as the ministry and the Delhi government have 50-50 partnership in DMRC.