Delhi Metro Phase 3 – January 2016 Tunneling Update

Here’s a comprehensive list of Delhi Metro’s Phase 3 tunnels and their current progress as of January 1 2016! For my December 2015 post, please see the December 2015 Tunneling Update. 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 Phase 3 page or the DMRC’s Phase 3 map.

Photo Copyright: Anindito Mukherjee - Popular Science

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

According to the footnotes on the DMRC’s Phase 3 map, 48.06 km of the 190 km Phase 1 & 2 network is underground. In Phase 3, 53.835 km of the 159.327 km is being built underground.

Phase 3 includes a total of 40 sections of which 38 have/will be built using a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM). That’s a total of 76 tunneling drives. The other 2 sections not being constructed by a TBM are:

1) The Kalkaji Mandir – Lotus (Bahá’í) Temple shaft on the Magenta line has been 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

2) The Nizamuddin Station to Ring Road shaft is being constructed by the cut and cover method – see Google Earth satellite imagery.

Here’s a line wise update on different sections:

Blue Line – Line 3 – Dwarka – Najafgarh extension

Contract Contractor Station/Shaft Station/Shaft Status
CC-66 HCC Sai Baba Mandir Shaft Najafgarh/MCD In Progress

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 began on November 2 – see: Delhi Metro Starts Tunneling on Najafgarh Branch of the Blue Line. 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.
• Since my December update, zero breakthroughs have been made on this line. 
• Between Lal Qila (Red Fort) and Kashmere Gate, 1 TBM made a breakthrough on August 3 while a second breakthrough is expected to be made in the middle of 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 more than half a year behind schedule due to a host of reasons which include difficult tunneling conditions and internal contractor issues.

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 In Progress
CC-20 J Kumar – CRTG Naraina Vihar Delhi Cantt Shaft Complete
CC-18 Pratibha – FEMC RK Puram Shaft Bhikaji Cama Place In Progress
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 Complete
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

• Since my December update, tunneling has commenced on the Naraina Vihar station – Mayapuri shaft and the RK Puram shaft – Bhikaji Cama Place station sections. With this, all sections of this line are now being worked on!
• A second breakthrough at Sarojini Nagar from Bhikaji Cama Place is expected to take place in January.
• For the Azadpur – Majlis Park section, the DMRC is in the process of acquiring private properties in Azadpur to construct a mid-shaft so that 2 additional TBMs can be launched from the Majlis Park shaft to finish the remaining portion (roughly 600m) of the tunnels. T
he contractor is hoping to launch the TBMs by March and wrap up tunneling in Q3 2016.

Having said that, this line is now running behind schedule by a couple months due to the delay in completing the Azadpur – Majlis Park section. Last month, I was asked why I hadn’t declared this earlier. Allow me to answer that with an example. If a task is due in 10 days and it takes 3 days to start & complete (also known as lead time) it, then the delay isn’t recognized until the 8th day is over. 

While the pace of underground tunneling is largely dependent on the terrain of the land, the pace of constructing an elevated line is completely dependent on factors influenced by policy & approvals. It is the responsibility of the local authority/government to provide an unencumbered right-of-way, but at the time of writing this, the Delhi Government still hasn’t formulated a policy for rehabilitating slum residents. This has resulted in two 100+m wide gaps at Punjabi Bagh & Mayapuri in west Delhi. If this policy is not formulated & approved by time the Azadpur-Majlis Park section is completed, then any delay in commissioning this line will entirely be blamed on the Delhi government.

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.
• 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
• Since the December update, two breakthroughs have taken place on this line. The first was at Panchsheel Park from Chirag Delhi and the second was at the RK Puram mid-shaft from Munirka.
• Tunneling work between Chirag Delhi and Greater Kailash will commence in early January.

With a mid-May deadline for the contractors of CC-23 and CC-27, the construction of this line is progressing on schedule.

If you have any questions or need specific TBM launch/breakthrough info, 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!


written by

Global traveler who prefers mass rapid transit

18 Responses to "Delhi Metro Phase 3 – January 2016 Tunneling Update"

  1. Aadisht says:

    Any news about what is happening on the downline tunnel for Jama Masjid to Delhi Gate? You had blogged in October about STEC3 being relaunched from Delhi Gate towards Golcha shaft to resume work on the upline tunnel, but there’s no info about what’s happening on the downline. I think there was a DMRC press release many months ago which said that TBMs were operating on both upline and downline but I can’t find it.

    • TMRG says:

      Hi, I’m trying to ascertain the exact progress made on this section. What’s certain is that 0 breakthroughs have taken place.

  2. Aadisht says:

    As regards slum rehabilitation policy, there is this (dated September 2015) on the Delhi govt website:

    It suggests that Delhi Govt will reluctantly go in for slum clearance and resettlement for projects like the Metro. But I think after the Shakurbasti scandal they will not do so in the next two months.

    There are other news reports which talk about the massive shortage of houses to resettle. And I think the DUSIB website suggests that there are over 3K houses to be resettled.

    • TMRG says:

      Thanks for digging this up! I agree with your assessment about a buffer-time they’ll place (have already placed?) before initiating any sort of resettlement plan.

  3. D Agrawal says:

    what is the likely date for 3rd phase metro from janakpuri to noida botnological garden to start running for public? any idea anybody?

    • TMRG says:

      It’ll open up in sections. The first section from Botanical Gardens to Kalkaji Mandir is expected to open in Q1 2017.

  4. Tanuj says:

    Thanks for sharing the insights on the various metro lines. Would like to know how soon first section of Majlis Park-Shiv Vihar will get operational?

    • TMRG says:

      It now appears that the first section won’t open until Q2 2017. One end would be Mukundpur and the other end depends on how soon the slums at Punjabi Bagh and Mayapuri are cleared.

      • Aadisht says:

        I’m now worried that the Punjabi Bagh delay is not only because of slum clearance and rehabilitation. I think there is also a high tension line over there which passes in the path of the viaduct.

        When I pass that zone, I see that pylons have been built on the Ring Road side, so that the HT line can be rerouted. But maybe the next pylon itself can’t be built without slum clearance/ railway permission/ etc etc.

        Mayapuri looks much simpler in comparison.

  5. Kanchan says:


    can you please tell me from when can i expect metro to be running for common people between Palam to Botanical garden Noida.

    Please reply.

  6. S.K.Agarwala says:

    When will line 7 in phase III will be operational. Is there any plan to start operations in completed sections.

  7. Sunil Sethi says:

    How delayed is CC 18 that is South Extension station linking to Lajpat ngr & INA and when is it expected to open?

  8. B.P.Sinha says:

    When will be start III phase metro from kalkaji mandir to RKPuram.

  9. Manil says:


    When will be start III phase metro from South Extension station linking to Noida.



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