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DMRC wants to link Airport Express Metro line with Delhi-Alwar rapid rail

Though Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung’s approval for the rapid rail link from Alwar is supposed to terminate at Gurgaon, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is perusing ways to link the Airport Express Metro Line with the high-speed rail link.

According to DMRC, if the 180-km Delhi-Alwar link is integrated with the Airport line, it could make the latter, which currently makes a loss of Rs 4 crore month, an operationally profitable line.

Earlier, DMRC had prepared a detailed project report (DPR) for extending the line from Dwarka sector 21 to IFFCO Chowk in Gurgaon, with funding from the then private operator-concessionaire Reliance Infrastructure. However, after the private operator withdrew from the project citing “material breach” by DMRC, the proposal went into a limbo because of funding issues.

DMRC has prepared a fresh DPR with alternative modes of funding and it will soon be sent to Haryana Urban Development Authority for approval, said a DMRC official who did not want to be named.

The 22.7-km Airport Express line will need an extension of about 15 km to reach IFFCO Chowk. The extension work is expected to cost about Rs 2,700 crore.

The three rapid rail corridors that got the Jung’s approval on June 11 — rapid rail links to Alwar, Panipat and Meerut — are part of a bigger project to create a regional rapid transit system for the national capital region.

The links from Meerut and Panipat are set to terminate at Anand Vihar and Kashmere Gate, respectively, in Delhi.

The National Capital Region Transport Corporation, formed in 2013, is still exploring options to fund the corridors that are expected to cost at least Rs 70,000 crore. The corporation was formed with 50 per cent equity participation from the Centre and the rest from the state governments of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

According to senior officials close to the development, all options, including a soft loan or roping in private players, are open to get funding. While the three corridors are to be completed by 2019, major issues such as key approvals from the state governments and funding remain to be sorted.

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