ON APRIL 1 Delhi Metro Rail Corp began commercial operation on the 6·5 km extension of Line 3 to Dwarka Sub-City, completing the 62 km Phase I network.

Built in just 22 months at a cost of Rs3·2bn, the extension adds six stations to Line 3. The metro viaduct was built along a dedicated corridor reserved during the planning of the residential satellite town.

With work already underway on Phase II which will add six more sections to the network by 2010, DMRC announced on April 10 that it had signed an agreement with the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority for a further extension. The 7 km Noida extension will serve another satellite township to the east of the Indian capital, adding six more stations. Total cost of the project is put at Rs7·4bn, with Noida funding the land and construction works and DMRC the cost of the rolling stock.

With the Rs105·6bn first phase completed on budget and ahead of schedule, DMRC is confident of completing the 55 km Phase II in time for the 2010 Commonwealth Games at a cost of Rs83·3bn. Phase III would follow by 2016 and Phase IV would bring the network to 250 km by 2021.

Managing Director E Sreedharan told the Metro Rail conference in Barcelona on March 28 that he would eventually like to see the metro reach 400route-km, putting a station within 500m of every one of the city’s 13·8 million inhabitants.