Janpath, Mandi House and ITO stations on the 9.37-km line are already operational.
Connectivity to the ever-bustling Old Delhi, which traces its roots back to the 17th century Mughal-era, will get a major boost as Delhi Metro's Heritage Line, between ITO and Kashmere Gate, will be thrown open on Sunday. Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will jointly inaugurate the line in the morning and passengers will be able to board the train by noon, DMRC chief spokesman Anuj Dayal said.
Janpath, Mandi House and ITO stations on the 9.37-km line are already operational. The Commissioner of Metro Railway Safety (CMRS) yesterday gave the green light for the new 5.17-km corridor - comprising Delhi Gate, Jama Masjid and Red Fort -- following a two-day inspection early this week.
The new line, essentially an extension of the Violet Line that runs between Faridabad and ITO, will take considerable load off the Chandni Chowk and Chawri Bazar stations on the Yellow Line. With the new stations, residents in densely-populated pockets of the Walled City will have direct access to commercial centres such as Connaught Place, Janpath and Central Secretariat.
Old Delhi was founded as Shahjahanabad in 1648 by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan with the Red Fort as its crowning glory. The three new stations have been designed in accordance with the heritage of the area. The stations will have a number of informative panels to provide glimpses of its rich past and vibrant present.
The expansion, fully underground, was particularly challenging due to the Walled City's structure and a dense populace. The deadline of the project was revised twice in the last one year.
Delhi Metro Railway Corporation chief Mangu Singh added the line was well on course for launch in December last year, but labour crunch triggered by a ban on construction and demolition activities as well as demonetisation announcement led to the delay.
The new line will bring down travel time and reduce dependency on interchange stations like Rajiv Chowk and Central Secretariat.(With inputs from PTI)