Anuj Dayal, Executive Director, Corporate Communications Delhi Metro
One of the great benefits of Delhi Metro Phase 3 is that the domestic terminals of the Indira Gandhi Intl’ Airport have got Metro connectivity - a boon to the city’s domestic air passengers.
While the Airport Express Link provides Metro connectivity to the new T3 terminal from which all international carriers and all premium domestic airlines fly, till 2018, there was no Metro connectivity for the domestic terminals from where the low-cost operators fly.
Terminal 1 of the IGI Airport Metro station is an underground station on the Janakpuri West – Kalindi Kunj - Botanical Garden corridor. With the opening of this station, all the three terminals of the IGI Airport are connected by the Metro.
Boon for Passengers
The station will help domestic passengers in the following ways:
- From South Delhi: Direct connectivity from Kalkaji, Nehru Place, Hauz Khas, Munirka etc (approx 20 minutes from Nehru Place).
- From East Delhi: Passengers coming from Vaishali (Ghaziabad), Anand Vihar, Lakshmi Nagar etc can take Line 3 and 4 and change at Janakpuri West.(approx 50 minutes from Lakshmi Nagar).
- From West Delhi: Passengers coming from Punjabi Bagh, NS Place etc can take the new Majlis Park – Shiv Vihar corridor, change at Rajouri Garden, then take Line 3 and reach Janakpuri West to avail the services on this corridor. (approx 30 minutes from Punjabi Bagh West).
- From North and Central Delhi: Passengers coming from Vishwavidyalaya and Central Delhi areas can take Line 2, reach Hauz Khas and board the train to the IGD Airport. (approx 40 minutes from Vishwavidyala).
- From Noida: Direct connectivity from Botanical Garden (approx 35 minutes).
- Janakpuri West: with Line 3
- Hauz Khas: with Line 2
- Kalkaji: with Line 6
- Botanical Garden: with Line 3
While planning the station, convenience of commuters to the airport was accorded top priority. Provision of multiple entry / exit points, subways, reversal facility, additional AFC gates etc, has ensured that commuters have a seamless travel experience.
Terminal 1 – IGI Airport station also stands out for its engineering achievements, making it one of the most unique stations in the Metro’s third phase of expansion.
- It has reversal facility for trains so that trains can be reversed from this station to facilitate better frequency of trains.
- The station box is among the longest with a length of 312.2 meters. Normally, underground stations are around 260 meters.
- It has five entry/exit points.
- Depth of the station is approximately 16 metres.
- A subway provides seamless connectivity between Terminal 1 – IGI Airport Metro station and Terminal 1D of the airport is nearing completion. Commuters travelling to and from the terminal will be able to directly enter and exit the Metro station using the subway. Lifts and escalators will provide seamless access to the airport.
- The station has a bright interior with use of granite, stainless steel finishes, ceramic tiles set in colourful patterns.
- Ceramic tiles used in the interiors are easy to maintain and add colour to the finishes.
- Glazed ceramic jaali work has been used for covering utility services like ancillary buildings, chiller plants and side panels of entry/exit structures. The jaali work also provides better ventilation and daylight.
Construction Methodology & Engineering Challenges
The station required meticulous planning and careful execution. On one side of the site was the busy Terminal 1 of the IGI Airport and on the other was the congested Mehram Nagar locality which had a number of buildings in a precarious condition. Despite the many challenges, the airport operations and the traffic flow at the nearby airport terminal were not hampered for even a day.
The station was constructed using the cut and cover method. Controlled blasting was required as DMRC engineers encountered hard rock during excavation. Monitoring equipment were installed to check condition of the nearby buildings. Tunnelling on either side of the station was done with the help of Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs).
The tunnel from Terminal 1 – IGI Airport Station to Shankar Vihar on this corridor passed below the underground section of the Airport Express Link near the IGI Airport (Domestic terminals). This operation was very sensitive in nature but services on the Airport Express Link were not impacted even for a day.
Elaborate instrumentalization was done to monitor the movement of the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) which passed below the already operational underground tunnel of the Airport Express Line. Monitoring was done round the clock as even a small oversight on the part of the engineers could have impacted the progress of the construction work on this section.