The over 4.2 km-long Grey Line of the Delhi Metro, which will connect urban village area of Najafgarh to the rapid transit network, is likely to open early next week, officials said on Saturday.
The Dwarka-Najafgarh corridor consists of three stations - Dwarka (interchange with Blue Line), Nangli and Najafgarh.
With the opening of this section, the Delhi Metro network will expand to 377 km with 274 stations, including the Noida -Greater Noida Aqua Line, Executive Director, Corporate Communication of the DMRC Anuj Dayal said.
"This corridor called Grey Line is a standard-gauge section and out of the 4.295 km, 2.57 km is elevated and 1.5 km underground. With the opening of this section, the Dwarka metro station is all set to emerge as an interchange facility that will connect the sub-city with the locality of Najafgarh," he told reporters.
Asked when will the corridor be opened for public, he said, "The new Grey Line is likely to open next week."
Delhi Transport Minister, meanwhile retweeted a post which said the line will be opened on October 3. However, the DMRC authorities said the date has not been finalised yet.
"Congratulations Najafgarh. This was long overdue. Happy that this Rural part is finally being connected to Delhi. Had reviewed the progress with DMRC in my weekly review meetings. Appreciate the efforts put in by @OfficialDMRC to make it operational despite many challenges," he had earlier tweeted.
Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) Janak Kumar Garg had accorded the mandatory approval for starting passenger operations after inspecting the corridor for safety on Wednesday.
The exact date for commencement of operations shall be communicated shortly, a senior DMRC official said.
Mr Dayal said a peak hour frequency of 7 minutes and 30 seconds shall be maintained on this stretch. The total travel time on this section shall be 6 minutes and 20 seconds.
"Three train shall ply on this section and a fourth train has been planned," he said, adding that at present, the DMRC runs 376 trains, spanning 2,206 coaches and 4,778 trips per day.
Trial runs on the section had begun in July. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation had earlier said the corridor is being extended by another 1.18 km till Dhansa Stand, which is slated for completion by December 2020.
An 80 metre passageway connects the old Dwarka station of the Dwarka Sector 21 - Noida Electronic City/ Vaishali corridor or the Blue Line with the new station on the Grey Line, which has come up as part of the extension to Najafgarh. There will be concourse to concourse connectivity through the paid area.
After the Dwarka Sector 21 station, now Dwarka will become the second interchange facility in the Dwarka sub-city. Ovreall, the metro will have 28 interchange facilities after its opening, Mr Dayal said.
"About 2,000 sqm of additional parking space shall be provided at the station. Elaborate multi-modal integration with provisions of pick-and-drop by e-rickshaws, auto-rickshaws and buses has been provided at the new station," the DMRC said.
He said this section was not sanctioned as part of the Phase 3 project and work started on the Grey Line in 2015.
The new corridor does not have platform screen doors (PSD) facility and the reason for that is low volume of traffic assessed for the over 4.2-km corridor, Mr Dayal said.
Senior DMRC officials said the 288 m-long Najafgarh station will become the longest stand alone underground station in the network.
"It was one of the most challenging work to build the Najafgarh station in congested area and it is a ''dumbbell'' station (span wise) in its design," she said.
At three locations on this section, rooftop solar power plants have been installed -- Dwarka metro station (175 kwp); Najafgarh depot (182 kwp) and Nangli station (240 kwp). Therefore, the Dwarka-Najafgarh corridor will have a generation capacity of 597 kwp. Delhi Metro overall is generating about 30 mwp of solar power currently, the officials said.