Century-old tunnel at Old Delhi to be converted into subway for passengers

Century-old tunnel at Old Delhi to be converted into subway for passengers

The initiative of railways to transform a century-old British-era tunnel at the Old Delhi railway station into a subway for passengers is all set to become a reality. The architectural plan of subway that would connect the platforms of the station has been cleared by the railways.

Work for the project — that would provide the passengers an easier alternative to reach the platforms vis-a-vis the two foot overbridges — would begin soon.  
“The subway would connect all the platforms, barring platform number 16. A flight of stairs would be constructed through the walls of the subway on either sides. The plan which has been approved has provision for stairs instead of ramp as the width of the platforms is not that wide. However, the stairs would have a narrow ramp on one side, which would help passengers to stroll their baggages which have wheels,” a Northern Railway official said.

The Old Delhi railway station receives a footfall of four lakh passengers every day and to connect all 16 platforms, there are only two over-bridges. The 70-meter-long tunnel of the heritage station building is 3.14 metres wide and 2.10 metres high. The danger of a stampede during peak traffic time always looms large.

Officials said the 103-year-old tunnel, which was being used to transport parcels and goods, would help in decongesting the overcrowded foot over-bridges once it is ready.

The project has been in pipeline for quite sometime. However, it got delayed due to technical reasons. Seepage of water was one of the major reasons for the delay. However, officials have now fixed the problem.

“Lack of concrete floor under the tracks was one of the major reasons for the seepage. Moreover, the infrastructure at the station is over a century old. Tenders for the removal of the crossover tracks and constructing washable aprons beneath the tracks has been issued. It would check seepage of water. The next phase of construction would begin after that,” said an official.

The officials said the washable approns would also help in maintaining better cleanliness on the tracks — one of the major complaints at the Old Delhi station.

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