Delhi Metro Phase 3 – December 2016 Tunneling Update

After a 4 month break due to a lack of big-ticket updates, here’s my Delhi Metro Phase 3 tunneling update for December 2016. In the past month, final TBM breakthroughs have been achieved on the Pink Line & Magenta Line leaving just 1 more TBM breakthrough pending on the Dwarka – Najafgarh line. In late November, the DMRC bizarrely announced that Phase 3’s tunneling works are over and Delhi’s clueless journalists, not surprisingly, reproduced that one-by-one in all leading newspapers without performing any independent verification.

All the information in this post is accurate as of December 1 and details from the  previous update in August 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 DMRC, 48.06 km of the 190 km Phase 1 & 2 network is underground. In Phase 3, 53.835 km of the 160.574 km project 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 and with some places requiring multiple TBMs to build 1 tunnel (eg. Vasant Vihar – Munirka’s down-line tunnel required 2 TBMs & both tunnels of Mukundpur-Azadpur required 4 TBMs) – that brings it up to a total of 80 tunneling drives.

Here’s a line wise update on different sections:

Violet Line – Line 6 – Central Secretariat – 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 Complete
CC-07 Era – Metrostroy Jama Masjid Lal Qila Complete
CC-07 Era – Metrostroy Lal Qila Kashmere Gate Complete

Number of Pending TBM Breakthroughs: 0

• The Central Secretariat – 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.

• The final TBM breakthrough for this line took place at the Delhi Gate station’s TBM receiving shaft in mid March: TBM Makes Final Breakthrough at Delhi Metro’s Delhi Gate Station

• In late November, the Era – Mestrostroy JV completed excavating a pair of 220m tunnels north of the Kashmere Gate using the sequential New Austrian Tunneling Method – see details & images.

In November, DMRC first blamed delays on demonitization and then later on a 7 day construction ban (which btw wasn’t adhered to) due to smog in region and hinted at a January-end opening for the 5.37 km ITO – Kashmere Gate section. However, with (1) a lot of finishing works still pending at Lal Qila station, Kashmere Gate station and the Harayana Canal Shaft (2) integrated trial runs along the entire stretch yet to commence, and (3) the time taken to apply for the CMRS’ safety inspection, conduct and approve the line for commercial operations, a January-end opening will just not be possible.

Projected Opening: Q2-Q3 2017

Pink Line
– Line 7 – Mukundpur – Shiv Vihar

Contract Contractor Station/Shaft Station/Shaft Status
CC-04 CEC – CICI Majlis Park Shaft Azadpur Complete
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 Complete
CC-20 J Kumar – CRTG Naraina Vihar Delhi Cantt Shaft Complete
CC-18 Pratibha – FEMC RK Puram Shaft Bhikaji Cama Place Complete
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 Complete
CC-24 J Kumar – CRTG Ashram Hazrat Nizamuddin Complete

Number of Pending TBM Breakthroughs: 3

• Since the August update, a double TBM breakthrough has been recorded at Vinobhapuri to mark the end of tunneling works on this line. See details & images here: Final Double TBM Breakthrough Achieved for Delhi Metro’s Pink Line

• Excavation work at the Gurdwara Emergency Shaft between Majlis Park – Azadpur is in its final stage. As per reports I’ve received, parts of the 1st of 4 TBMs (S781) have been lifted out with 3 more pending. I’ll share images whenever they’re available.

The DMRC  launched “trial runs” from the Mukundpur Depot in an elaborate event held in May, but it was just for show (see details) as the CC-04 tunnels, right outside the depot, were still under construction. As things stand right now, this line’s construction (both underground & elevated) is running more than 1.5 years behind schedule.

Projected Opening: The line will open in stages with a final opening estimated to take place in the 2nd half of 2018. The first stretch between Mukundpur – Vinobhapuri is expected to open either by 2017-end or in Q1 2018 depending on the progress made at the Gurdwara Emergency Shaft. The rest of the line’s opening will take place in 2018 and depends largely on the progress made at Trilokpuri (demolition is yet to start), Vinod Nagar (NH24), IP Extension and the Anand Vihar railway station.

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 Complete
CC-27 L&T – SUCG Vasant Vihar Munirka Complete
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 Complete
CC-23 Pratibha – FEMC Chirag Delhi Greater Kailash Complete
CC-23 Pratibha – FEMC Greater Kailash Nehru Enclave Complete
CC-23 Pratibha – FEMC Nehru Enclave Kalkaji Mandir Complete
CC-23 Pratibha – FEMC Kalkaji Mandir Lotus Temple Shaft Complete

Number of Pending TBM Breakthroughs: 0

• 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

• In November, the final TBM breakthrough of this line took place at Munirka. See details and images: Final TBM Breakthrough Achieved for Delhi Metro’s Magenta Line

Overall, this line’s construction is progressing more than 1 year behind schedule.

Projected Opening: The line will open in stages with a final opening estimated to take place in Q1 2018:
Botanical Garden – Kalkaji Mandir: Q2 2017
Kalkaji Mandir – Janakpuri West: 2017-end or Q1 2018

Line 9 – Dwarka – Najafgarh

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

Number of Pending TBM Breakthroughs: 1

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. TBM S197 completed building the west-bound tunnel on June 25, 2016 and was subsequently relaunched in September. As of December 1, only 148 rings (207m) are pending and the contractor is looking to make a final breakthrough by December 25 which would mark an end to Phase 3’s tunneling works.

This line was recently officially designated as Line 9 and its construction is progressing a couple months behind schedule. As per one news source, the line will be called Grey Line. The DMRC is yet to officially confirm that.

Projected Opening: Q1 2018

If you have any questions or need specific TBM launch/breakthrough info, then please leave a comment below. For images from construction sites and more news, see my Twitter feed.

For more updates, check out the Delhi section of The Metro Rail Guy!


written by

Global traveler who prefers mass rapid transit

28 Responses to "Delhi Metro Phase 3 – December 2016 Tunneling Update"

  1. Shashank says:

    I’ve found your monthly posts to be extremely helpful to understand where this project stands, so thanks for resuming. How’s the progress at Punjabi Bagh and Mayapuri?

    • TMRG says:

      As per another reader, the last span was being built at Punjabi Bagh in late Nov – see image. When work is complete & some nice images are available, I might write a post on it.

      At Mayapuri, they’ve cleared out the slums and in Oct finished launching a steel bridge over the Indian Railways’ line – see pic. They just need to complete building the viaduct on either side of the bridge now: (1) Mayapuri station to ring road – 15m, (2) ring road to bridge – 100m and (3) bridge to Naraina ramp – 80m.

  2. Shikhar says:

    What do you mean by “integrated trial runs along the entire stretch yet to commence” for ITO to Kashmere gate?

  3. Ankur bansal says:

    Please can you share updates on Mundka- Bahaduragh Line updates.

    • TMRG says:

      Hi, the DMRC is facing some land acquisition issues near the Bahadurgarh depot (surprise…surprise) but apart from that, I don’t have any other update as there aren’t any visible milestones to track. Whenever new images are available, I’ll definitely post them on my Twitter handle.

  4. sam says:

    pls. post some pics of tunnel b/w vasant vihar – munirka.

  5. bipin says:

    Delhi metro website still showing Dec 2016 as deadline for opening.
    They should atleast increase frequency to ITO and may extend line to Delhi Gate/ Jama Masjit.
    Delhi Metro should also increase frequency of Red Line and also increase the Train Speed at Red Line

    • TMRG says:

      The DMRC is being a little too shy to admit that major time-intensive work is still pending. Maybe they’ll soon update it to show February and then keep extending it?

  6. Chetan says:

    Thanks tmrg for the timely updates regarding our capital’s metro progress. Its nearly impossible to find such accurate, precise and Reliable information as yours from todays so called the active media. Really hard to find Real news regarding metro work today but thanks to you.

    Regarding phase 3, i request you to provide status and progress of mundka – bahadurgarh , dilshad garden – new bus adda (ghaziabad) , noida city centre – noida sector 62 , escorts mujesar – ballabhgarh ( pardon me if i forgot any other line under construction) also as and when you get….. I know they come under ncr region…but still they are directly part of delhi metro phase3 and will be connected by same metro trains that run today.
    If it isn’t so troubling for you…i request you to add them in your monthly delhi metro updates.


    • TMRG says:

      Hi Chetan, thanks for your message. The problem will elevated sections, unlike underground sections, is that there aren’t any major milestones to track so I skip reporting on them here unless there’s something significant like a record breaking rate of U-girder launching (eg. this news from Lucknow or this news from Noida).

      You should visit my Twitter account as I post a lot more news, updates and pictures there. Here’s the link to a recent tweet I made on the Ballabhgarh extension.

      As for openings, I expect the Red Line’s extension to Ghaziabad, Green Line’s extension to Bahadurgarh and the Violet Line’s extension to Ballabhgarh to all open sometime in 2018.

  7. Aditya says:

    @chetan…these are all elevated corridors and the construction is still in the beginning stage in many of them. There is not much update to provide as of now…TMRG himself said so. Also they are not officially part of phase 3 as they were conceived much later. Still any update from TMRG would be useful as I also want to know more about them, especially bahadurgarh one.

    • TMRG says:

      Their progress is somewhere in the middle stage and even though they were late additions to the project, I’ve always considered them to be a part of Phase 3 🙂

  8. Chetan says:

    @aditya…yes they are all elevated corridors but their construction i believe to be 40 -50% completed or may be ready by Q1 2018 (which is same as tmrg mentioned for mukundpur – shiv vihar line) which tmrg can only clarify. Also if you can provide me with the link about the tmrg’s post you are reffering to… Yes they were conceived much later but now they are officially part of it see link below…

    Hence, i request tmrg to clarify all such questions too…

  9. Naman says:

    Could you please provide any update on delhi metro Phase -4 . That what all approvals are left and when will work gets started

  10. Jayanto Chatterjee says:

    Punjabi Bagh is supposed to be an interchange station between Green and Pink lines but the station on each lime are far is the interchange supposed to take place ?

    • TMRG says:

      As I explained in the comment section of another post, the Punjabi Bagh station, like Dhaula Kuan, will not be an interchange due to the distance between both stations. The DMRC does however plan to build a really long FOB with travelators to connect Pink Link’s station with the Shivaji Park station. In order to ‘interchange’, users will have to go out and back in the paid section which can take anywhere from 15-25 minutes depending the user’s speed.

  11. Abc says:

    Wats about dmrc’s plan to do trial by launching trains at palam ramp for palam-janakpuri section.

  12. Shikhar says:

    But there is a lot of tunneling work and stations construction work remaining between Kalkaji and Vasant vihar. Wouldn’t it be better to start separate trials between Janakpuri West and domestic airport, where all this work is much ahead than Kalkaji and Vasant vihar?

    • TMRG says:

      Like Bangalore (see post), I believe their game plan would be to quickly finish track-work inside one tunnel and pull the trains towards the Airport-Janakpuri section.
      Dec 22 Update – they just hoisted trains ontop of the ramp – see info & pics

  13. Abc says:

    Dmrc will launch coaches to do trial at palam ramp on sunday night as per a today’s news.

  14. Prateek says:

    Hello TMRG, one question I want to get it clarified. I have seen new trains rolling out and being made operational in the Green Line few months back with the new map showing till Bahadurgarh. The train’s speed and its interior part is well ventilated are also much better than the existing old ones.

    But the new map doesn’t show any interchange with the Pink Line with Punjabi Bagh/Shivaji Park. So does that mean that there will be no interchange with the new line with Green Line? As the Pink connects and interchanges with other existing lines as well. Any thoughts on this?

    • TMRG says:

      Hi Prateek, the Pink and Green Lines will not form an interchange between them. See my reply above to Jayanto Chatterjee as well my reply to him in the comments section here.

      • Prateek says:

        Oh! I got it, thanks a lot! It’s really a pity that Green Line has lost many benefits to the other lines. Wonder what will happen after 5-10 years perhaps?

        • TMRG says:

          Perhaps they’ll realize the importance of an interchange? My wish is that they retrofit a new station on the Green Line (like this) and connect it up to the Pink Line via a FOB.


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