DMRC hopes for a smooth trial run today

Siddhartha Gupta

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation will begin the first trial run on the Central Secretariat-Janpath-Mandi House stretch at 11 am on Monday (December 31), with the intention of opening it up to commuters in March 2014, six months ahead of schedule.

DMRC officials are keeping keep their fingers crossed, hoping for a smooth beginning.

Director of projects at DMRC D K Saini said DMRC was able to complete the stretch well before time because it faced no trouble with civil contractors. "They completed the job well in time. The situation is not this easy on other stretches on Phase-III."

Asked about the problems, Saini said, "The only problem we faced was when Nepal Embassy refused to let us work near their building. We managed to rent private land near the Mandi House station. But now the owners have been asking us to vacate it."

He said, "Land acquisition is usually a problem. There have been five cases in Phase-III where getting land from a government agency has proved to be difficult. A stretch in East Delhi is still stuck."

The other major problem, added Saini, was "removal and rearrangement of utilities such as pipes and cables for water, sewage, power and telecommunication".

"The network of pipes and cables at Janpath was daunting. But, we managed to get support from agencies such as the Delhi Jal Board and the Public Works Department," he said.

While the construction on this stretch has been carried out at a good pace, similar efficiency may not necessarily be achieved on the Mandi House-Kashmere Gate and Badarpur-Faridabad stretches, which are next on the DMRC's list.

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