Airport Metro to miss Diwali deadline, delayed by a month

The Airport Express Metro is unlikely to resume service by Diwali, though repairs on the corridor is almost complete.

The airport line has been shut for repairs for the past four months, since July 8, after structural damage was detected on the 22.7-km corridor. The line links New Delhi railway station with Indira Gandhi International Airport and Dwarka.

Officials had earlier said service could resume by Diwali. But it could be further delayed because of the pending inspection of the corridor by the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) R K Kardam.

Officials said the CMRS would inspect the line and give a safety clearance. This could delay resumption of service by a month, they said.

"Three sets of documents have been forwarded to the CMRS. The documents provide information on the nature and design of the repairs. These will be studied in detail and only then a clearance could be given. So far, the date for the CMRS inspection has not been fixed," a senior official said.

The CMRS, however, said his office has not received until Thursday any application to carry out the safety inspection. "No document requesting for a safety inspection has been received," Kardam said.

But officials insisted that the CMRS has been invited to give clearance to the corridor to run trains at 120 kmph.

Earlier, CMRS R K Kardam didn't take much time to inspect the corridor prior to its inauguration in 2011. He didn't approve the proposal run trains on the corridor at that speed. Fresh applications were being sent to him to approve the corridor following the repairs. Documents relating to his objection to the speed limit have also been sent, an official said.

"It isn't a statutory requirement to get a revised safety clearance from the CMRS. Since several technical and civil repairs were carried out on the corridor, the need was felt to get an inspection done," the official said.

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