Delhi Metro Phase 3 – November 2015 Tunneling Update

Here’s a comprehensive list of Delhi Metro’s Phase 3 tunnels and their current progress (as November 1 2015) that some of you have been waiting for! Beneath each table, I’ve included additional notes with information. In case you’re unaware of Delhi’s geography or need a map to help visualize what goes where, then you can refer to the Delhi Metro Rail Corp’s map located here.

Photo Copyright: Anindito Mukherjee - Popular Science

A tunnel built for the Violet line in Phase 2 – Photo Copyright: Anindito Mukherjee

In total, there are 40 sections of which 39 have/will be built using a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM). That’s a total of 78 tunneling drives. The Kalkaji Mandir – Lotus (Bahá’í) Temple shaft is the only section that is being constructed using the New Austrian Tunneling method (NATM) which has previously been used to tunnel underneath the Ridge for the Airport Express line and beneath Chawri Bazar and Saket for the Yellow line.

According to a DMRC press release from 2011:

The total length of the underground corridor presently is 48.06 kilometres and Phase 3 alone will have underground corridors of 41.044 kilometres. The first phase of Delhi Metro’s construction had 13.17 kilometres of underground Metro lines while, the second phase had 34.89 kilometres. In Phase 3, about 40 percent (39.83 percent) of the total proposed Metro network will be underground.

Blue Line – Line 3 – Dwarka – Najafgarh extension

Contract Contractor Station/Shaft Station/Shaft Status
CC-66 HCC Sai Baba Mandir Shaft Najafgarh/MCD Yet to Begin

This section was a late addition to Phase 3. The Letter of Acceptance to the contractor was given on 11.04.2014 with a completion deadline of 20.04.2017. Tunneling on the westbound tunnel will in fact begin on this Monday (Nov 2)! The same TBM will later tunnel the eastbound tunnel on its way back to the Sai Baba Mandir shaft. Construction is progressing on schedule.

Violet Line – Line 6 – Central Secretariat to Kashmere Gate

Contract Contractor Station/Shaft Station/Shaft Status
CC-01 Pratibha-CRFG Central Sec. Shaft Janpath Operational
CC-01 Pratibha-CRFG Janpath Mandi House Operational
CC-05 L&T – SUCG Mandi House ITO Operational
CC-05 L&T – SUCG ITO Delhi Gate Complete
CC-05 L&T – SUCG Delhi Gate Jama Masjid In Progress
CC-07 Era – Metrostroy Jama Masjid Lal Qila Complete
CC-07 Era – Metrostroy Lal Qila Kashmere Gate In Progress

• The Central Secretariat to Mandi House section was opened for commercial operations on June 26, 2014. A further extension northward to the ITO station was opened on June 8, 2015.
• Between Delhi Gate and Jama Masjid, 0 breakthroughs have been made due to difficult tunneling conditions. As such, a mid-shaft had to be constructed in front of Golcha cinema and a new TBM was recently lowered into the Delhi Gate station to finish tunneling on the up-line.
• Between Lal Qila (Red Fort) and Kashmere Gate, 1 TBM made a breakthrough on August 3 while a second is expected to make a breakthrough in December/January.

CC-05 had a deadline of 29.07.15 while CC-07 had a deadline of 12.09.15, so overall construction on the Violet line is running at least half a year behind schedule.


Pink Line – Line 7 – Mukundpur – Shiv Vihar

Contract Contractor Station/Shaft Station/Shaft Status
CC-04 CEC – CICI Majlis Park Shaft Azadpur In Progress
CC-04 CEC – CICI Azadpur Shalimar Bagh Complete
CC-30 HCC Shalimar Bagh Netaji Subhash Place Complete
CC-20 J. Kumar-CRTG Mayapuri Shaft Naraina Vihar Yet to Begin
CC-20 J. Kumar-CRTG Naraina Vihar Delhi Cantt Shaft Complete
CC-18 Pratibha – FEMC RK Puram Shaft Bhikaji Cama Place Yet to Begin
CC-18 Pratibha – FEMC Bhikaji Cama Place Sarojini Market In Progress
CC-18 Pratibha – FEMC Sarojini Market INA Complete
CC-18 Pratibha – FEMC INA South Extension Complete
CC-18 Pratibha – FEMC South Extension Lajpat Nagar In Progress
CC-24 J. Kumar CRTG Lajpat Nagar Vinobhapuri Complete
CC-24 J. Kumar CRTG Vinobhapuri Ashram In Progress
CC-24 J. Kumar CRTG Ashram Hazrat Nizamuddin Complete
CC-24 J. Kumar CRTG Hazrat Nizamuddin Ring Road Shaft In Progress

• 0 out of 2 breakthroughs have been made on the Majlis Park shaft – Azadpur section due to difficult tunneling conditions. A new mid-shaft is currently being constructed so that new TBMs can be launched from the Majlis Park shaft side to bridge the gap. This section is crucial since it’s right at the start of the line’s Depot at Mukundpur, so without this being completed, the rest of the line cannot be opened for commercial operations.
• In October, 2 TBMs made a breakthrough at Naraina Vihar – See: (1) Delhi Metro TBM Makes a Breakthrough at Pink Line’s Naraina Vihar Station (2) Delhi Metro TBM Makes a 2nd Breakthrough at Pink Line’s Naraina Vihar Station. The first TBM is currently being dragged across the station and will start tunneling towards the Mayapuri shaft in December.
• Tunneling will soon begin on the RK Puram – Bhikaji Cama Place station section.
1 Breakthrough has been made between Bhikaji Cama Place and Sarojini Nagar while the other is expected to be made in December.
1 Breakthrough has been made between South Extension and Lajpat Nagar while the other is expected to be made within the next 2 days!
• Two TBMs are currently working to complete the Ashram to Vinobhapuri section. As per an engineer onsite, 60% of the tunneling is complete.

Overall, construction is largely on schedule, but the northern section between the Majlis Park shaft and Azadpur is running behind by a year and a half due to difficult tunneling conditions. Even if this section was completed today, land acquisition issues on the elevated section at Punjabi Bagh and Mayapuri would prevent the rest of the sections from opening up, so any potential delay that gets “realized” in early 2016 cannot entirely be blamed on this section.


Magenta Line – Line 8 – Janakpuri W – Botanical Garden

Contract Contractor Station/Shaft Station/Shaft Status
CC-34 HCC – Samsung Vikaspuri Shaft Janakpuri W Complete
CC-34 HCC – Samsung Janakpuri W Dabri Mor Complete
CC-34 HCC – Samsung Dabri Mor Dashratpuri Complete
CC-34 HCC – Samsung Dashrat Puri Palam Complete
CC-32 ITD – ITD Cem Palam Saddar Bazaar W Shaft Complete
CC-32 ITD – ITD Cem Saddar Bazaar E Shaft IGI-Domestic Complete
CC-32 ITD – ITD Cem IGI-Domestic Shankar Vihar Complete
CC-27 L&T – SUCG Shankar Vihar Vasant Vihar In Progress
CC-27 L&T – SUCG Vasant Vihar Munirka In Progress
CC-27 L&T – SUCG Munirka RK Puram Complete
CC-27 L&T – SUCG RK Puram IIT Complete
CC-27 L&T – SUCG IIT Hauz Khas Complete
CC-23 Pratibha – FEMC Hauz Khas Panchsheel Park Complete
CC-23 Pratibha – FEMC Panchsheel Park Chirag Delhi In Progress
CC-23 Pratibha – FEMC Chirag Delhi Greater Kailash Yet to Begin
CC-23 Pratibha – FEMC Greater Kailash Nehru Enclave In Progress
CC-23 Pratibha – FEMC Nehru Enclave Kalkaji Mandir Complete
CC-23 Pratibha – FEMC Kalkaji Mandir Lotus Temple Shaft Complete

• Apart from small sections at Saddar Bazaar & Shankar Vihar, the entire line is underground in south-west and south Delhi. The south-eastern section beyond Modi Mills is elevated.
• Tunneling on 4 sections between Janakpuri W and Palam was completed in June while the tunneling on the 3 sections between Palam & Shankar Vihar stations was also completed in June this year.
• Between Shankar Vihar and Vasant Vihar, 1 TBM breakthrough took place in December 2014 and the other is expected to take place in January 2016.
• Between Vasant Vihar and Munirka, 0 breakthroughs have taken place. TBMs are currently working from either ends and are expected to make a breakthrough by March 2016.
• Tunneling between Chirag Delhi and Greater Kailash is expected to begin soon.
• The Kalkaji Mandir – Lotus (Bahá’í) Temple shaft has been constructed using the New Austrian Tunneling method (NATM). For some cool images of it shot during construction, see: NATM Tunnel at Kalkaji in Delhi Almost Complete

Overall, the construction of this line is progressing on schedule with only one section that I need more clarity on – the Chirag Delhi – Greater Kailash section. According to an ex-engineer who just left, work will “begin soon”. The contractor for CC-27  has a deadline of 11.05.2016, so I don’t see anthing to be worried about yet.  When I have more information about this section, I’ll make sure to update this post.

If you have any questions, then please leave a comment below!

For more updates on Delhi Metro’s Phase III, check out the Delhi section of The Metro Rail Guy!


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Global traveler who prefers mass rapid transit

5 Responses to "Delhi Metro Phase 3 – November 2015 Tunneling Update"

  1. Garudha says:

    Thanks! Nice to know what’s really going on there, it’s hard to find detailed updates about DMRC

  2. Pulakit Bharti says:

    You are great man!! Start making videos, using your pics etc. on YouTube.. You’ll find 1000 subscribers a month. I can guarantee that.. All this information is hard to find anywhere else. Gook luck, Keep informing us. 🙂

    • TMRG says:

      Hi Pulakrit – thanks for your kind words & suggestion. Time to compile videos might be an issue, but I will definitely look into it!

  3. Amogh says:

    Great job man……how do u get all this..


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