Reliance Infrastructure-run Delhi Airport Metro Express was back on track on Tuesday after a gap of six months, bringing smiles on the faces of commuters looking for seamless travel to the airport.
Commercial operations of the 23-km corridor that connects Connaught Place with Terminal-3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport resumed at 5.30 am today and passengers were charged a flat rate of Rs 30 as an inaugural day offer.
Trains on the line will run at a drastically reduced speed of 50 km per hour from the earlier speed of 105 km per hour. This was decided by the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety who inspected the corridor last week.
However, the speed will be gradually increased after periodic inspection by the Delhi Metro.
Passengers could not avail check-in and baggage facilities today. Reliance Infra officials said a separate notification would be issued for this.
Though resumption of services would bring smiles on the faces of commuters, an 18-20 minute journey from Connaught Place to the Terminal 3 of IGI Airport will hitherto take at least 30 to 35 minutes, effectively failing the purpose of a high-speed corridor.
The corridor was shut in July last year after Reliance Infra complained to the Delhi Metro that cracks have been noticed on civil structures of the corridor. Delhi Metro completed the civil structure and handed it over to Reliance Infra for operations in 2010.
Problems were also noticed in the clippings used in the underground section of the corridor. It is believed that the train speed can be increased only when the clipping issue is rectified.
The problems on the civil structure also led the Reliance Infrastructure offer to quit the Line citing financial non-viability.
But, Delhi Metro rejected the offer and the same is now referred to arbitration.