Any underground construction work is always an engineering challenge. Construction work below the surface requires precision in planning and absolute competence in execution since even a minor error or oversight on the part of the engineers may lead to disastrous results.
And when the underground construction work involves tunnelling below an already operational Metro tunnel and expansion of the adjacent Metro station into a major interchange hub of the network, the challenges confronting the engineers obviously increase manifolds.
The Hauz Khas interchange Metro station project of the third phase of Delhi Metro's expansion was taken up with such difficult challenges. The already operational Hauz Khas Metro station on the Jahangirpuri – HUDA City Centre Metro corridor (yellow line) had to be expanded into an interchange facility, the new tunnel had to pass below an already functional Metro tunnel and all this had to be achieved without hampering passenger services even for an hour on the yellow line.
To further add to the woes was the busy Outer Ring Road running adjacent to the construction area. Being one of Delhi's arterial roads, thousands of vehicles used the road every hour and it was absolutely impossible to stop or divert traffic on such a busy road even for short durations.
The Hauz Khas interchange: A boon for urban connectivity
The Hauz Khas Metro station is being turned into an interchange station in Phase 3 to facilitate inter-connectivity between the HUDA City Centre – Jahangirpuri (Yellow Line) and the upcoming Janakpuri West – Botanical Garden Metro corridors (Magenta Line).
The passengers coming from HUDA City Centre (Gurugram) on Yellow Line will be able to get down at Hauz Khas and take a direct train to Botanical Garden in NOIDA. Through this connectivity, the traveling time between Gurugram and NOIDA will be brought down by at least half an hour.
After the inauguration of this vital link, scheduled early next year, the approximate time to commute between HUDA City Centre and Botanical Garden will be about 50 minutes only whereas a Metro journey from HUDA City Centre to Botanical Garden in NOIDA presently takes about 1.5 hours with an interchange at Rajiv Chowk.
In addition, passengers coming from the Gurugram side as well as from central, old and north Delhi areas will now be able to change trains at Hauz Khas and go directly to the domestic terminal of the Indira Gandhi International Airport, where a dedicated Metro station is coming up.
A footfall of about 1,69,414 passengers is expected at the station after its opening, as per the Detailed Project Report. Presently, the footfall at Hauz Khas is approximately 40,000.