Phase 1 of Delhi's metro network was completed in November, and work has now begun on an extension programme to take the metro to 120 km by 2010

OPENING of the extension of Delhi Metro Line 3 from Barkhamaba Road to Indraprastha on November 11 2006 marked the completion of work on the first phase of the Indian capital's metro network. The first section opened on December 25 2002, and Delhi Metro Rail Corp now boasts 59 stations on three lines totalling 65.1 route-km.

DMRC has now placed civil engineering contracts for the six extensions making up the Phase 2 programme, which will take the 1 676 mm gauge metro to 120 route-km when the city hosts the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Local contractors have been chosen to carry out civil works for the above-ground sections, while all underground and railway systems contracts will be opened to international competitive bidding.

A general consultancy contract for Phase 2 has been awarded to a consortium of Pacific Consultants International, Rites, Japan Railway Technical Services, Tonichi Engineering Consultant, and Parsons Brinckerhoff International, companies which provided similar services for Phase I. They will advise DMRC on project management, monitoring and quality assurance, in particular looking at tunnelling works, signalling and telecoms, fare collection, track work and ventilation.

The first of the Phase 2 extensions is on course to open to the public in December 2008, when DMRC will inaugurate a 3.1 km eastern extension of Line 1 from Shahdara to Dilshad Garden, with intermediate stations at GTB Enclave and Jhimil. The route will be elevated 12 m above ground level, and Malaysian contracting firm IJM Infrastructure began work on the piling for the line in July 2006 under a Rs893m contract.

DMRC has outsourced design and construction of the 14.7 km Inderlok to Mundka branch west from Line 1 to Bangalore-based IDEB Projects and the Shanghai Urban Construction Group at a cost of Rs1.7bn. IJM Infrastructure is responsible for the design and construction of a 4.5 km viaduct on the route, and began work last May for completion in November 2008. The complete extension is due to open in December 2009.

Reaching beyond Delhi

About 13.5 km of the Phase 2 extensions will be underground, with the remainder elevated. Tenders have been called for the design and construction of an underground extension of Line 2 running 6.6 km south from Central Secretariat to Green Park in April 2010 and opening a further 5.7 km to Ambedkar Colony two months later. Boring machines will be used for the running lines, with the stations constructed using cut-and-cover methods, except for one elevated station.

A northern extension will take Line 2 a further 6.9 km from Vishwavidyalaya to Jahangir Puri by April 2009, with one underground and four elevated stations.

Simplex Infrastructures won a Rs2.12bn design and build contract covering a later phase of metro construction, which would take Line 2 southwest for a further 14.5 km from Qutab Minar to Gurgaon in Haryana state. DMRC will fund the rolling stock, while the national, capital and state governments will fund the infrastructure through grants and loans from Japan Bank for International Co-operation. As well as contributing Rs5.5bn towards the Rs6.9bn cost of the segment of the line in the state, the government of Haryana will meet 15% of the Rs7bn cost of the section within Delhi.

Developer funded

A 2.3 km elevated extension of the western end of Line 3 will run south from the current terminus at Dwarka 9 to Dwarka 22 from September 2007, following a corridor which was reserved when the residential town was planned.

Work is also underway on the construction of the Indraprastha to New Ashok Nagar extension at the eastern end of Line 3. After crossing River Yamuna the 8.1 km elevated route will turn south to serve stations at Games Village, Mayur Vihar Phase-I, Mayur Vihar Phase-II and New Ashok Nagar. Work began on July 7 2006, with the driving of a series of temporary piles to verify the results of previous soil load tests The first temporary pile was installed near Samachar Apartments in Mayur Vihar, with the concrete left to set for 28 days before load tests to ensure that the permanent pillars will support the combined weight of the viaduct and trains.

Civil works on the extension are expected to be completed by August 2008, and the target date for the start of operations has been set as June 2009 to ensure that the line is running well in advance of the Commonwealth Games.

On April 4 2006 DMRC signed an agreement with New Okhla Industrial Development Authority for a further 7 km extension from New Ashok Nagar to the Noida industrial township development, serving stations at Noida Sectors 15, 16 and 18, Botanical Garden, Golf Course and Noida City Centre. The cost for the extension will be Rs7.4bn, with the development Authority to fund the land acquisition and infrastructure works, while DMRC will bear the costs of the metro trainsets required. It is hoped to complete the construction works by June 2009.

Tenders were called in August for 400 new metro cars (RG 10.06 p645), and interest has been expressed by Alstom, Bombardier, CAF and Siemens, as well as the consortium of Rotem, Mitsubishi Melco and Bharat Earth Movers which supplied vehicles for Phase I.

  • CAPTION: The Line 3 eastern extension includes DMRC's second crossing of the River Yamuna
  • CAPTION: Civil contracts have been let for the six extensions which form Phase 2 of the metro
  • CAPTION: Rajiv Chowk station at Connaught Place provides an interchange between Lines 2 and 3
  • CAPTION: Operation of the metro is supervised from the Shastri Park control centre

By metro to the fair

The 2.81 km extension serving an underground station at Mandi House and elevated stops at Pragati Maidan and Indrapastha brings the total length of Line 3 to 32 km, the longest of the city's lines. Running from Dwarka Sector 9 to Indraprastha, trains take 58 min to cover the route.

Mandi House is 8.1 m below the surface, with ticket sales at platform level. The station is entered from four points, two by the Himachal Bhawan exhibition venue, and two beside the National School of Drama.

Pragati Maidan is the largest of the three new stations, covering an area of 6 800 m. The platforms are elevated 11.4 m above ground level, and a 300 m walkway provides direct access to the Pragati Maidan trade fair site. The station has eight entry and 12 exit turnstiles, with six ticketing counters at the ground level and six at the platform level along with space for more should demand grow. Tickets for the India International Trade Fair on November 14-27 were sold at all metro stations and during the fair, with a Rs5 discount to encourage visitors to buy tickets before arriving at the venue.

Indraprastha station is on the ring road, with entrance on both sides of the road, a foot bridge and access to a bus station.

A notable feature of the extension is the bridge near Pragati Maidan. Classed as an extradosed bridge, a cross between a girder and a cable-stayed deign, DMRC says it is the first bridge of its sort in India and believed to be only the second extradosed bridge to carry a railway. The bridge was required to carry the metro across a five-track electrified main line operated by Indian Railways, which required space for future expansion and needed to keep trains running through the construction work. Systra produced a bridge design with a 93 m main span on a 302 m radius curve, providing the space below without needing any intermediate support pillars.