Red hot: Delhi Metro’s oldest line gets glitter back | Delhi News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: If you haven’t travelled by Delhi Metro’s Red Line since the urban train services resumed in September, chances are you wouldn’t recognise the stations on the corridor now. Constructed nearly two decades ago, these had started showing signs of aging — and the lockdown was the opportune period for a massive overhaul.

The Shahdara to Tis Hazari section of the Red Line (Rithala-Shaheed Sthal) was the first to be commissioned by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation on December 25, 2002. By June 3 three years later, the corridor had connected Dilshad Garden on the Delhi-UP border with Rithala on the fringes of northwest Delhi.
In August 2018, TOI had reported how age had caught up with Delhi Metro’s showpiece corridor. The signs were visible: plaster peeling off at many stations like Dilshad Garden, Mansarovar Park, Seelampur and Shahdara, seepage-damaged walls, broken tiles, tainted stairs, cement falling off the walls and dust-covered floors.
Compared with Delhi Metro’s newer corridors, the pioneering Red Line looked drab and neglected, and didn’t offer the same commuter experience as its younger counterparts. The closure of train services due to the Covid outbreak gave DMRC time to complete the overhaul started last year.
Of the 21 stations on the corridor in Delhi (the Red Line was extended up to Ghaziabad last year), refurbishment of 11 major stations is almost complete and the effect is already visible. “The rest of the stations are also undergoing the same process though on a smaller scale because the wear and tear wasn’t major at these 10 stations,” a DMRC official said.
The Jhilmil and Mansarovar Park stations have got a completely new look with louvres fixed on the front facade and glazing work carried out on both the front and rear facades. Mansarovar Park was arguably the Red Line’s worst station. Being almost attached to the Shahdara flyover on GT Road, its main entry point is below the flyover, which is a dark and dank area. The service road next to the entry point remains choked with e-rickshaws and was, till two years ago, marked by breakage and missing tiles.
The station is almost unrecognisable now, thanks to the new facade and the complete repainting of the exteriors and the interiors. The station has also acquired a ‘baffle ceiling work’, giving it a more contemporary look.
Stations like Inderlok, Shastri Nagar, Pratap Nagar and Pulbangash have seen false ceiling repair work or replacement. A large number of stations on the corridor have been completely repainted and in the case of Dilshad Garden, Jhilmil, Welcome and Shastri Park, the roof sheets and the trusses that support them have received an extensive paint job too.
Retro plating of the platform surface has been carried out at the Dilshad Garden and Jhilmil stations, which see significant footfall, apart from granite flooring and vitrified tile cladding at Mansarovar Park. Kota stone and tactile flooring work have been installed in at stations like Inderlok, Shastri Nagar, Pratap Nagar and Pulbangash.
While most of the areas outside the station premises doesn’t fall under DMRC’s purview, the company has still carried out external redevelopment work at Mansarovar Park, Inderlok, Shastri Nagar, Pratap Nagar, Pulbangash, Welcome, Seelampur and Shastri Park. At the busy Dilshad Garden, Jhilmil and Mansarovar Park stations, the parking lots have been renovated too.
“The maintenance of the Red Line poses more challenges than the other lines because many stations on this line are at ground level, which results in the being more exposed to dust,” the official added. “Many stations are near low-lying areas, which sometimes result in sewage and rainwater entering the premises.”
The DMRC official said that the company would continue taking up such exercise across all the corridors as and when necessary. “The Yellow Line (Samaypur Badli-HUDA City Centre) and Blue Line (Dwarka-Vaishali/Noida City Centre) corridor stations will now be taken up for revamp when the need arises,” he said. “In fact, six stations of Blue Line in the Noida segment are already undergoing refurbishment at this juncture.”

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