Airport line handed over to Reliance Infra

The countdown has begun for those awaiting the high-speed Airport Metro Express Line. The Delhi Metro has completed most of the civil work and has handed over the stations to Reliance Infra for undertaking system and other operational works. The 22.7-km stretch, connecting New Delhi metro station to IGI Airport and Dwarka Sector 21, is slated to open in September.

Sources in Reliance Infra, said the line will be a round-the-clock service. However, in the first few months, the service will be shut for three hours a day for maintenance. Once the system is in place the high-speed link will be a 24-hour service. "The non-operational hours will be slotted around the off-peak air traffic hours so that commuters are not inconvenienced. A team is conducting a study to fix this time," said an official of Reliance Infra which will operate the line.

While according to the contract between DMRC and the concessionaire Reliance Infra and CAF, a Spanish company the upper limit of the fare was fixed at Rs 150 for travel between New Delhi metro station and IGI Airport and Rs 180 for commuting from New Delhi to Dwarka Sector 21, sources said this could even be brought down. "A team is working out the feasibility of a lower fare structure, but a final decision is yet to be taken. The team is also looking into a break-up of the fare structure for those who do not travel the entire distance and wish to deboard at any of the stations in between," the official said.

Running on schedule, the line is expected to be thrown open to the public in September. "We have completed most civil work and have handed over the stations to the concessionaire. Whatever civil work is remaining on our end has to be done simultaneously as the concessionaire undertakes system works. We kept transferring stations as and when we finished work on them. We are told the concessionaire too has finished over 80 per cent of their work on the line," said DMRC's Director (Works) Mangu Singh.

Specialised metro coaches have already arrived at the Mundra Port in Gujarat and are on their way to the Capital. Reliance officials said trials of the new coaches are slated to begin soon.

Initially, eight six-coach trains will run at a frequency of around 10 minutes, this will be brought up to around three minutes later.

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