Water leak foils subway's plan to see daylight

Water leak foils subway's plan to see daylight

Work on British era tunnel in Old Delhi rly station hit

The railways’ plan to convert a century-old British era tunnel, connecting all platforms at the Old Delhi railway station, into a subway for passengers has hit technical roadblock. 

Construction work for the subway, slated to take off in February, has not been started yet due to the problem of water seepage in the tunnel. Officials said they are identifying the technology which could fix the problem.

 “The tunnel has a regular problem of seepage on its floor. We are trying to figure out the right technology which could plug the seepage,” a senior railway official said.

“There is an option of digging holes at different locations and injecting a certain chemical.

But there are other options too and we are likely to finalise one of them by the end of this month,” added the official.     

Once the issue is sorted out, tenders for remodelling the tunnel will be issued. “We are hopeful that we will able to commission the tunnel for public use within a year,” said the official.

The Delhi division of northern railways had announced in January to decongest the crowded over-bridges at the Old Delhi station, the 103-year-old tunnel, which was being used to transport parcels and goods, will be thrown open for the public after making necessary changes.

The Old Delhi railway station has a total of 16 platforms. While the daily footfall at the heritage station is over three lakhs, it has only two foot over-bridges.

In order to decongest the over-bridges the railway authorities decided to upgrade the 70-metre-long tunnel of the heritage station for passengers. They planned to install lifts and escalators at all platforms.

The tunnel, which is 3.14 metre wide and 2.10 metre high is also to be made air conditioned. 

“Once the subway becomes operational with other facilities like lifts and escalators, the heritage station will also become disabled-friendly,” the railway official said.

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