Come Wednesday, IGI Airport to be just 20 min away from CP
New Delhi: Delhi will join a select few cities in the world to have a high-speed corridor to the airport with Delhi Metro’s most sensitive line likely to start operations from Wednesday, finally bringing the Indira Gandhi International airport closer to the heart of the capital.
If everything goes according to the plan and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) completes its deployment process by tomorrow, the 23-km Airport Metro Express that connects the city’s shopping hub of Connaught Place with the new swanky Terminal-3 of the IGI will be opened to the public on Wednesday.
However, a formal inauguration of the high-speed link, the first Metro corridor in the country to come up on the Public-Private-Partnership mode, is likely to take place later with sources indicating that several dignitaries will be invited for the function.
Both Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Limited (DAMEPL) — the Reliance Infra-led consortium that will run the corridor — and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said they are hopeful that the line will be begin operations on Wednesday with four stations — New Delhi, Shivaji Stadium, IGI Airport and Dwarka Sec-21.
Other two stations — Dhaula Kuan and Delhi Aero City — are expected to be ready by the time the formal inauguration takes place, informed sources said.
“We are hoping that the Airport Line will begin operations from Wednesday. But, it depends on the deployment of forces by CISF. But we are hopeful that it will begin on February 23,” they told PTI.
CISF sources said they have fast-tracked the deployment of over 400 personnel on the high-speed corridor and the process is likely to be over in a day or two. “We usually take two to three weeks to complete our deployment. So, it should be over in a day or two,” the sources said.
The fast-tracking of deployment comes days after the Home Ministry convened a meeting between CISF, DAMEPL and Delhi Metro on the issue.
With this, Delhi will join world cities like London, Hong Kong, Seoul and Kuala Lumpur which have a high-speed link to the International Airport. The Delhi Airport Line was completed in a record 27 months’ time.
When the commercial operations start on Wednesday, passengers will not be able to check-in their baggage at the stations as talks with Air India and other private airlines in this regard are still on.
Sources said the facility will be available by the time the formal inauguration takes place, possibly in March.