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Delhi: Airport Express Line likely to reach deeper into Dwarka by March 2022

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic slowing down the high-speed Airport Express Line’s extension deeper into the Dwarka sub-city, the project is expected to become operational by March next year.
A large part of the tunnelling work of the 1.7 km long stretch of the corridor and civil work of an underground station are almost complete.

The 1.7 km long underground section will extend the standalone corridor of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) between New Delhi Metro Station and Dwarka Sector-21 to Dwarka Sector-25, to link it to the upcoming India International Convention and Exhibition Centre (IICC). The civil work of the underground station, which is coming up inside the IICC complex, is almost complete. DMRC plans to provide connectivity from the underground station to the Convention Centre through subways, which have been constructed already.

Construction work of the Rs 310 crore project had started in 2018 and was expected to be completed by 2021 but Covid-19 put a spanner in DMRC’s work. The corporation has, however, been working on a war footing to complete the project by March 2022.

Officials said that the tunnelling work was mostly complete, and the station’s civil work had been completed too. DMRC is now working on laying standard gauge tracks and finishing other necessary installations at the station.

“This will be an important extension of the Airport Line as IICC is expected to attract visitors from across the world,” an official said.
DMRC is also procuring 24 special coaches, which will be turned into four six-coach trains and operated on the Airport Line. The extra trains will help DMRC maintain adequate frequency on the high-speed corridor, when it is extended to IICC in Dwarka Sector-25.

The coaches, which DMRC is procuring, are different from the usual coaches used in the Delhi Metro network. The trains will be standard gauge with a top speed of 132 kmph. As DMRC would be deploying additional trains on the Airport Line with the commissioning of this extension, the corporation is going to construct three additional stabling lines at the Dwarka depot.

Apart from special coaches, DMRC also plans to engage a firm for providing the train control and signalling system of the stretch. At present, Airport Express Line connects New Delhi station to Dwarka Sector-21 station with four stations in between — Shivaji Stadium, Dhaula Kuan, Delhi Aerocity and IGI Airport (Terminal 3).

IICC of Dwarka will be the first-of-its-kind facility in west Delhi. The centre will be on the lines of Pragati Maidan and India Habitat Centre. The state-of-the-art centre will be able to host seminars, conventions and large-scale exhibitions. DMRC was requested to extend the Airport Line to the exhibition-cum-convention centre to provide high-speed connectivity.

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(From: Times of India)