New Delhi: Starting in March 2018, many new lines of the Delhi metro network will begin to operate. With the completion of the Phase III expansion of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, the metro rail system of the Indian capital would become the fourth largest in the world with more than 350 km of corridors. Its current network covers 231 km after the recent opening of the Botanical Garden-Kalkaji Mandir section of the Magenta Line.
Anuj Dayal, executive director (corporate communications) of DMRC, said that the Delhi Metro has 173 operating stations at this time, making it the ninth largest metro system in the world. “After the completion of Phase III, we will have a network of over 375 km, including the Noida-Greater Noida corridor, and it would be the largest after Shanghai, Beijing and London,” Dayal said. The Noida-Greater Noida corridor would be part of the Delhi metro network with an exchange at the next Noida Sector 52 station. Although built by DMRC, this corridor would be operated by Noida Metro Rail Corporation.
It is expected that the next Delhi Metro corridor to be opened will be the Kalkaji Mandir-Janakpuri West corridor of the Magenta Line, whose first section was opened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 25. The corridor has already approached Noida to the south of Delhi, but when the line extends to Janakpuri West, the distance between Noida and Gurgaon would also be reduced with the availability of interchange at the Hauz Khas station with the Yellow Line (HUDA City Center-Samaypur Badli). DMRC is committed to completing the section by March 2018, although its opening for commercial operations will depend on the safety clearance of the Metro Rail Safety Commissioner.
The Kalkaji Mandir-Janakpuri West corridor would also bring the Domestic Terminal 1 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport on the subway map. Currently, IGIA is connected to the city center through the Express Express high-speed line, but the corridor has no direct connectivity with Terminal 1 that handles domestic flights.
March 2018 will also see the completion of the huge Pink Line (Majlis Park-Shiv Vihar) with a length of 58.59 km. The Pink Line will act as a ‘Ring Corridor’ connecting most of Delhi. However, a small section of the corridor, between Mayur Vihar Pocket 1 and Trilokpuri, will not be part of the line due to problems related to the land and, therefore, will remain a missing link. The Pink Line will convert the Delhi Metro network into an intricate network by bringing existing corridors into 10 different exchange points, including with the Airport Express Line at the Dhaula Kuan station.
In 2018, DMRC will also make its third incursion into Haryana after Gurgaon and Faridabad by extending the Green Line to Bahadurgarh. DMRC will also extend the Violet Line of Mujesar Escorts in Faridabad to Ballabhgarh next year. The extension of Blue Line from the city center of Noida to the electronic city of Noida will not only bring the Delhi metro to many sectors of Noida, but also to areas of Ghaziabad such as Indirapuram.