Despite several constraints induced by the second wave of the Covid – 19 pandemic in the last few months, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) continued with the construction work of its Phase 4 corridors and achieved a few important construction landmarks as well.
Prior to the imposition of lockdown in April, 2021, the number of workers at DMRC’s sites exceeded the 4,000 mark. However, after the lockdown many workers decided to leave their sites for their native places. In addition, many workers who had left earlier for the Holi festival did not return either. This led to a gradual decrease in the workforce to about 2,500.
DMRC not only took care of the workers who stayed back with medical care, accommodation etc. but also achieved some important landmarks in its Phase 4 construction work. During this period, all Covid related guidelines given by the government from time to time were also stringently followed. After the lifting of Covid related restrictions, now there is a gradual increase in the manpower available at DMRC’s sites.
The tunneling work between Janakpuri West and Krishna Park Extension on the Janakpuri West – RK Ashram Marg corridor for DMRC’s first underground section of Phase 4 achieved many important targets during this period. During these months, DMRC completed the tunneling of 500 metres of one of the 2.8 kilometre long twin tunnels. Delhi Metro has also completed casting of over 50% of tunnel segments in the casting yard. The first of the twin tunnels on this stretch is expected to be completed by September later this year.
On the same stretch, DMRC achieved another major milestone by erecting Phase 4’s first ever T-girder at Mukarba Chowk last month. These T-girders are pre-tensioned and are cast at the casting yard in Mundka. After casting, these girders are brought to the site and launched with the help of two mammoth 400 MT capacity cranes. The length of each girder is 37 metres and weight is around 90 MT. The piers over which the first girder was erected is about 18 meters from ground level. In addition, load testing of the launcher has been done at Majlis Park and launching of the u-girder will start with the launcher on the same stretch from Majlis Park to Mukarba Chowk.
On the Majlis Park – Maujpur corridor as well, steady progress was made despite the manpower related constraints. Casting of U-Girders, T-Girders, erection of U-Girders, Pier Caps, construction of piers at the station as well as viaduct locations were carried on. Work on Delhi Metro’s fifth bridge over the river Yamuna is also going on as part of this corridor near the Signature Bridge. This corridor is significant as its completion will complete the entire ring of connectivity on the Pink Line.
On the Tughalakabad – Aerocity corridor, the casting yard at Panchsheel Park was prepared for casting with installation of all necessary equipment such as the erection of gantry cranes. The casting work of u-girders and piles was also continued. The Aerocity – Tughlakabad Metro corridor, colour coded silver will connect the Kashmere Gate – Raja Nahar Singh Violet Line with the Airport Express Line.
In April and May, 2021, four major civil tenders of DMRC Phase 4’s underground sections were also floated. These are all being funded by the loan received through JICA. While three tenders are from the Aerocity – Tughalakabad corridor, one is from the Janakpuri West – RK Ashram Marg corridor. All the tenders are at different stages of processing now.
With improvement in the Covid – 19 scenario in the country, it is expected that construction work will gain further pace in the days ahead. Already multiple vaccination camps have been organized at the sites for the workers and more are expected to follow. A campaign to raise awareness about the benefits of vaccination among workers has also been conducted. DMRC is currently engaged in construction of 65 kilometres of new lines across three priority corridors as part of its Phase 4 expansion. These corridors are expected to be completed by 2025. However, given the fact that the Covid scenario is still evolving, the completion targets shall be reviewed accordingly.