The Delhi Metro’s Pink Line, a new 21.5-km circular metro corridor that will connect South and North West Delhi along the ring road, was opened to the public on Wednesday evening.
The stretch between Majlis Park and Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus is part of a longer 58.9-km “ring corridor”, which will become the longest metro line in the country, when completed.
Inaugurating the Pink Line on Wednesday evening, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the state government is committed to expanding the network. “There are two pending proposals with the state government. One is for a capacity expansion of the existing network through the procurement of more train coaches, for which we will give an immediate go ahead. The other is the Phase-IV expansion with six new routes, which has been pending.”
Internal evaluation, however, has shown that some of these routes are not financially viable and may result in the fare going up further, said Kejriwal. “But we want Delhi Metro to expand. So, we’ll take up some of these six new lines which are viable at the moment. We will take this forward with the Union government very soon,” he added.
The circular Pink Line will eventually turn the Delhi Metro network into a web by connecting many of the existing radial corridors at 10 different interchange points, including the Airport Express line at Dhaula Kuan station.
Delhi currently has the 12th largest metro network in the world. Five of the top 10 are in China. By the end of 2018, Delhi is expected to add close to 100 km of metro lines, making its metro network the 8th largest in the world.
“By June of this year, a majority of the ongoing Phase-III expansion would be opened to the public,” said Delhi Metro Rail Corporation spokesperson Anuj Dayal.
The new section of the Pink Line will especially benefit college students, as the Delhi University’s South and North campuses would finally be connected directly via public transport. The Durgabai Deshmukh station near South Campus is also expected to become a major transport hub as it will be connected to the existing Airport Express line station at Dhaula Kuan.
For the first time, travelators are being installed on foot over bridges in the vicinity of interchange hubs, with the travelator at Durgabai Deshmukh metro station stretching over nearly a kilometre to connect it with Dhaula Kuan station on the Airport Express line.
Similar to the recently inaugurated Magenta Line, the Pink Line will also have driverless technology. It will become the second Delhi Metro corridor to be operated using the Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) signalling technology which facilitates movement of trains with a frequency of 90 to 100 seconds.
The opening of the new line is expected to bring down travel time significantly between the city’s suburbs since commuters will no longer need to travel to the city centre to change lines. The average reduction in travel time will be between 16 to 30 minutes.