New Delhi: The South Campus-Lajpat Nagar section of the Delhi Metro's Pink Line, which is expected to open soon, is all set to emerge as a "corridor for shoppers" as four major markets of the city will be connected on one stretch of the network that will also cut travel time for commuters by up to 20 minutes.
The 8.10 km-long Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus-Lajpat Nagar section has six stations, including interchange facilities at INA (with Yellow Line) and Lajpat Nagar (Violet Line).
"The mandatory nod from the Commission of Railway Safety (CMRS) was received yesterday, subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions and stipulations. Operations will soon begin on the stretch, but the exact date has not been decided yet," Executive Director, Corporate Communications at DMRC, Anuj Dayal told reporters on Friday.
The new stations are — Sir Vishveshariah Moti Bagh, Bhikhaji Cama Place, Sarojini Nagar, INA, South Extension and Lajpat Nagar. Only Sir Vishveshariah Moti Bagh station is elevated, and the rest all are underground.
"This segment will connect four major markets at — Sarojini Nagar, INA, South Extension and Lajpat Nagar (Central Market). So, it will be like a corridor for shoppers," he said.
This stretch is part of the 59 km-long Majlis Park-Shiv Vihar corridor (Pink Line).
A total of 23 trains will be put into service, with a frequency of 5 minutes and 12 seconds during non-peak hours and 5 minutes and 45 seconds during peak hours, the senior official said.
With the opening of this section, expected in the first week of August, the operational span of the Pink Line from Majlis Park to Lajpat Nagar will become 29.66 km and the entire operational span of the DMRC will reach 296 km with 214 stations.
"This new section would also shrink travel time for commuters by up to 20 minutes. The current travel time on the network between INA and Lajpat Nagar (Violet Line) stations is about 24 minutes which would reduce to five minutes. Commuting time between Hauz Khas and Lajpat Nagar is 23 minutes, which would shrink to 16 minutes," Dayal said.
The travel time between INA and Rajouri Garden stations would reduce from 40 minutes to 23 minutes; Lajpat Nagar-Rajouri Garden stations from 45 to 28 minutes and Lajpat Nagar and Netaji Subhas Place (Red Line) from 47 minutes to 39 minutes, he said.
Lajpat Nagar currently served by a station on the Violet Line has a bustling Central Market in its vicinity, and the DMRC is expecting a jump in the station's footfall, once the new station on the Pink Line becomes operational.
Shoppers and regular commuters travelling to INA Market (neighbours Delhi Haat), Sarojini Nagar Market and South Extension Market areas will also save time once the stretch becomes operational.
The new stations have been tastefully decorated, especially INA, Sarojini Nagar, Sir Vishveshariah Moti Bagh and Lajpat Nagar.
"We have used LED lights at regular intervals, instead of focus lights to illuminate the artworks encased in double layering of toughened glass that will help save 5 KW per hour," Dayal said.
The stations signages used on the walls of the tunnels are vertical in display unlike the horizontal ones used in general. An icon of the 'Metro Girl' mascot, placed in the vertical signage, also greets commuters. Sandstone panels having 'jali work' have been installed on the walls of the tunnels facing platforms to enhance the look-and-feel of the platform area.
A senior official said that the new INA interchange station is unique among the underground stations, as it is the only one where the platform has been constructed above the concourse level. The old INA station is connected to the new one from the concourse level.
The first corridor of the Pink Line, from Majlis Park to South Campus was opened on March 14, connecting the north and south campuses of the Delhi University on the DMRC network for the first time.