Skywalk or tunnel? Plan to link rly station to Airport Metro

Dragging strolleys from the New Delhi railway station to the Airport Metro's New Delhi station will soon be a thing of the past. Because there is now a move to directly connect the Ajmeri Gate end of the railway station to the Airport Metro platform.

Sources said the plan to connect the railway station to the Metro source was proposed by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). The Delhi division of the Northern Railway is analysing the technical feasibility of the plan. The division is looking at plans to have an elevated skywalk or an underground tunnel leading to the Airport Metro station.

"This proposal to bridge the distance between the railway station and the Airport Metro station will boost connectivity and increase ridership on the airport line," a senior official said. The Airport Metro line originates at the New Delhi station, which is over 200 metres away from the Ajmeri Gate end of the railway station.

"The idea behind the Airport Metro originating at New Delhi was to receive commuter footfall from the railway station, especially those with connecting flights. All airport metros globally are connected to another mode of transport," the official said.

The plan was discussed at a meeting convened at the Ministry of Urban Development last week.

"It was proposed initially that connectivity should be from the third foot over bridge at the railway station to the Metro station. This was not found feasible, so connectivity will have to be established from either the first or second foot over bridge," a railway official said.

The plan is a bit of a challenge since the large circulating area outside the railway station has parking space for over 200 cars and auto-rickshaws. "If a skywalk is to link the two ends, then pillars will have to be constructed. This can obstruct traffic movement. For an elevated bridge, the facade of the railway station has to be checked for strength. Officials also want to ensure that a skywalk does not hamper expansion plans of the railway station," the official said.

"An underground tunnel is another option being analysed by the division. A final decision will be taken after evaluating options with Metro officials," the official said.

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