Economy

Delhi Metro airport line opens today

Press Trust of India New Delhi | Updated on February 23, 2011 Published on February 22, 2011

Delhi Metro's Airport Express, the country's first corridor to come up on public-private-partnership model, will roll out for public on Wednesday, turning Delhiites' dream of a hassle-free ride to the Indira Gandhi International Airport into a reality.

Central Industrial Security Force, which will guard the line, completed deployment of its 400 personnel today on the 23-km corridor and conducted anti-sabotage and other mandatory operations so that the services can begin tomorrow.

As the commercial operations begin at 2 pm without much fan fare, commuters will be able to get information about train timings, its frequency and other details through a dedicated helpline set up by the Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt Ltd, the Reliance Infra-led consortium that will operate the line.

The customer care number (30802080) will be functional every day from 6 am to 10 pm, the operational hours of the 23-km high-speed link, that promises a smooth ride to commuters from Connaught Place in the heart of the city to the new swanky Terminal-3 of the IGI Airport.

Senior citizens and physically challenged people can use the customer care number to book wheel chair and other facilities to ensure that they have a comfortable ride.

There will be no formal inauguration ceremony tomorrow though the DAMEPL wants a formal inauguration which is expected to take place sometime in March.

The first Airport Metro Express train will start its journey from the New Delhi station at 2 pm and is expected to reach the IGI Airport in 20 minutes with a stoppage at Shivaji Stadium station. Though the corridor will have a 16-hour run initially, it may be increased to 20 hours later.

The trains will initially run at a speed of 105 km an hour will open nearly five months after it missed its original deadline of 2010 Commonwealth Games. Built at a cost of about Rs 5,700 crore, this is the first Metro line in the country to come up on PPP model.

The line will begin operations with four operational stations – New Delhi, Shivaji Stadium, IGI Airport and Dwarka Sec-21. Two other stations – Dhaula Kuan and Delhi Aero City – are expected to be ready by the time the formal inauguration takes place, sources said.

Passengers will not be able to check in their baggage at the stations now as talks with Air India and other private airlines are still on. Sources said the facility will be available by the time the formal inauguration takes place possibly in March.

With this, Delhi will join the league of few world cities such as London, Hong Kong, Seoul and Kuala Lumpur, which have high-speed link connecting the city with their international airports.

A total of six trains, procured from CAF, Spain, will be pressed into service and initially trains will run at a frequency of 20 minutes.

Each coach has LCD screens showing flight information for the convenience of travellers, while half the compartment of a train is reserved for luggage.

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Published on February 22, 2011
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