Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Central Secretariat to Qutub Minar Metro line to be Opened on September 3rd

The much-awaited Central Secretariat to Qutub Minar Metro line will be opened to public at 3pm on September 3. With this, Delhi Metro’s existing Line 2 Central Secretariat to Jehangirpuri will get linked to the Gurgaon section, from Qutub to Huda City Centre, making it the longest Metro line in the city. With trains running at a frequency of three minutes, commuters will be able to cover the 45-km distance in just an hour and 20 minutes at a fare of only Rs 29.

The new section was inspected by the commissioner of metro rail safety (CMRS), RK Kardam, on Monday and Tuesday. He has given the necessary safety clearances. ‘‘The Central Secretariat-Qutub Minar Metro corridor will be inaugurated by Union UD minister S Jaipal Reddy and Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit on September 3 at Udyog Bhawan station. The section will be opened to public at 3pm the same day. A formal clearance of the section from CMRS is expected shortly,’’ said a DMRC spokesperson.

However, even as the opening date for this line was announced, the stations on the underground line appear far from ready. The entry points to the Metro stations are unpaved and dug up at important locations such as AIIMS, Green Park, INA, etc. The way things stand, those headed to the stations will not be able to access them easily.

According to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), it has handed over the roads to New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and the pavements outside stations are being redone as part of streetscaping for the Commonwealth Games. ‘‘The digging is part of streetscaping work on the roads, which we have already handed over to the concerned road-owning agencies such as NDMC. The line and stations are totally ready,’’ said a DMRC spokesperson.

Officials revealed that even DMRC is skeptical about the ongoing work outside stations and expects it to be wrapped up before the line is opened on Friday. NDMC, meanwhile, couldn’t be contacted for a response. The opening of the line was slightly delayed after DMRC submitted the necessary documents to CMRS, but had to later provide more documents before a date could be set for the inspection.

The underground Central Secretariat-Qutub Minar section has 11 stations — at Udyog Bhawan, Race Course Road, Jor Bagh, INA, AIIMS, Green Park, Hauz Khas, Malviya Nagar, Saket and Qutub Minar. DMRC plans to run 40 trains on the line at a frequency of three minutes. In all, there will be 34 Metro stations on the line of which 20 are underground and 14 elevated. A total 3.6 lakh commuters are expected to use the section by 2011.