Delhi Metro Phase 3 – March 2016 Tunneling Update

I just got back from a much needed vacation (see pics here & here), so excuse the delay in publishing this month’s tunneling update!

All the data in this post is correct as of March 1 and details from the February update can be viewed here. 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 & map 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 significant sections not being constructed by a TBM are:

1) Kalkaji Mandir – Lotus (Bahá’í) Temple shaft – This section 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) Nizamuddin Station – Ring Road shaft – This section 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 2015 – see: Delhi Metro Starts Tunneling on Najafgarh Branch of the Blue Line. As of the morning of March 1, 485 rings (679 m) have been built out of 675 rings (945 m). Construction on this line 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 Complete

• The Central Secretariat to Mandi House section opened for commercial operations on June 26, 2014. A further extension northward to the ITO station was opened on June 8, 2015.
• Since my February update, 2 breakthroughs have taken place on this line:
February 4: TBM Makes Breakthrough at Delhi Metro’s Lal Qila Station
February 9: TBM Makes Breakthrough at Delhi Metro’s Golcha Mid-Shaft
• Two more breakthroughs are left on this line: (1) At Golcha mid-shaft for up-line tunnel and (2) At Delhi Gate station’s TBM receiving shaft for the down-line tunnel. Both can be expected to take place within the next 30 days. 

CC-05 had a deadline of 29.07.15 while CC-07 had a deadline of 12.09.15, so quite clearly the line’s construction is running more than half a year behind schedule. The DMRC on their website has now revised the line’s deadline from March 2016 to September 2016.


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 Complete
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

• Since my February update, one breakthrough has taken place at the Mayapuri shaft – see: TBM Makes Breakthrough at Delhi Metro’s Mayapuri Shaft
• For the Azadpur – Majlis Park section of CC-04, last month, CEC-CICI started lowering parts of a TBM into the Majlis Park shaft and should commission the TBM by the first week of April to complete the balance 600m of the down-line tunnel towards Azadpur. If things go as planned, tunneling will be wrapped up in Q3 2016.

As things stand, the construction of the underground component of this line is running half a year behind schedule. It is highly unlikely that the new Hyundai Rotem trains procured for Phase 3 will even venture out of the Mukundpur depot this year for conducting trials runs.


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 In Progress
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 February update, 1 breakthrough has taken place on this line: TBM Makes Breakthrough at Delhi Metro’s Nehru Enclave and 8 more are pending.
• The last TBM to excavate and build for this line was commissioned from the Chirag Delhi station on February 10. For images and details, see: Last TBM Commissioned for Delhi Metro’s Magenta Line at Chirag Delhi.

With a mid-May 2016 deadline for both contractors of CC-23 and CC-27, construction of the underground component of this line is now progressing a couple of months behind schedule. Trial runs on the elevated part (Kalindi Kunj-Kalkaji) are expected to begin by the middle of the year and operations possibly by December, but the underground section (Kalkaji – Janakpuri W) will only start operations in the first half of 2017.

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 – March 2016 Tunneling Update"

  1. harsh says:

    Hi TMRG, when will vinobhapuri to ashram will see any breakthrough. its been long time. haven’t seen any updates on this section.

    • TMRG says:

      Hi, the contractor has encountered really tough/hard-weathered rock along the route. In mid-Feb, out of 636 rings (890m), 251 (351m) and 258 (361m) rings were completed for both tunnels. 1st breakthrough is at least 3 months away.

      • harsh says:

        is it feasible to create midshaft and start tunneling from the other side in order to speed up. same situation occurred during azadpur – majlis park section.

  2. SPP says:

    Hi TMRG. There is one more NATM section which is being built at KG stn of length approx 240m

  3. Mridul yadav says:

    I guess there is no space available for constructing a midshaft on the ring road between vinobapuri and ashram … so they have to complete the tunnel with a single tbm.. for each tunnel..

    • TMRG says:

      Hi, space is not an issue. The TBMs are advancing, so launching new ones are not required. CC-20 had a deadline of July 2015, so I’m sure the contractor is taking comfort in CC-04’s delay.

  4. sunny says:

    will magenta face a new deadline instead of dec. 2016 .

  5. Kashyap says:

    Please tell me when the breakthrough between Shankar Vihar and Vasant Vihar will occur?

  6. Aby k says:

    How long will it to complete tunnelling work between panchseel n kalkaji to b completed

  7. Kamal says:


    First of all, I will like to congratulate for the great job. I want to know few things.
    1-if we can expect any line (Except the heritage line) to be operational by December 2016 ?
    2- What is the status of Dilshad garden and Ghaziabad Line ?
    3- Is there a chance of any partial opening of any line by December 2016 ?

    Thanks in advance

    • TMRG says:

      Hi Kamal, thanks for your warm message.
      1 & 3) The Magenta line’s elevated Kalkaji-Botanical Garden section could become operational in/by December.
      2) It’s under construction and heading towards opening in 2018 – please see a recent update here


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