PM Narendra Modi Launches Delhi Metro's Magenta Line, Takes Ride With Yogi Adityanath
The first-phase of Delhi Metro’s Magenta line will connect Botanical Garden in Noida with Kalkaji Mandir in south Delhi.
PM Narendra Modi with UP CM Yogi Adityanath, Governor Ram Naik on the Magenta Line metro. (Image: PIB India/Twitter)
New Delhi: The first-phase of Delhi Metro’s Magenta line was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday. The first-phase will connect Botanical Garden in Noida with Kalkaji Mandir in south Delhi.
Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath was also be present in the inauguration ceremony. PM Modi is likely to address a public meeting in Noida later on Monday.
“This new line is yet another example of how we are modernising urban transportation. I will also travel on the Metro tomorrow (Monday). This year, I have had the opportunity to inaugurate and travel in the Kochi as well as Hyderabad Metros,” Modi tweeted.
In another tweet, he said: “Great news for friends in the NCR! Tomorrow, a stretch of the new Magenta Line will be inaugurated... Delhi-Noida travel will become faster and more convenient.”
This is the third Metro line in India to be inaugurated by the Prime Minister in 2017.
Modi had earlier dedicated Kochi Metro to the nation in June and Hyderabad Metro in November. As on these earlier occasions, the PM will travel on a stretch of the new Delhi Metro line, before arriving at the venue of the public meeting.
In January 2016, the PM and the then French President Francois Hollande travelled in Metro from Delhi to Gurgaon to lay the foundation stone of the headquarters of the International Solar Alliance. More recently, in April 2017, Modi and his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull travelled by Metro to the Akshardham Temple.
However, the Magenta ride has not been as glittery as the end result seems. Recently, a train of the Magenta line crashed into a wall at Kalindi Kunj depot after it rolled back on a ramp while it was being taken for washing. There were no casualties, according to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) which had blamed the incident on “human error and negligence” during maintenance.
Following the incident, the Delhi Metro had suspended four officials, including the in-charge of the Kalindi Kunj depot.
DMRC has set April, 2018 as the fresh deadline for the completion of its longest upcoming corridor, named as the Pink and Magenta lines. Originally, the project was supposed to be completed by December 2016.
The first leg of the project that is being inaugurated this Christmas was scheduled to be operational by December 2015. Trial runs between the Kalindi Kunj and Kalkaji Mandir section of the Magenta Line started in August 2016.
Phase 4 of the Delhi Metro is also caught in delays. The cost required is likely to increase by Rs 6,000 crore as the Centre and the Delhi government are yet to decide whether Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will be the funding agency or not. Additionally, DMRC will have to prepare detailed project reports afresh for the new phase by involving private players, mandated under the new Metro policy
The 12.64-km metro stretch is a part of the upcoming Botanical Garden (Noida)-Janakpuri West (Delhi) corridor. It has nine stations – Botanical Garden, Okhla Bird Sanctuary, Kalindi Kunj, Jasola Vihar-Shaheen Bagh, Okhla Vihar, Jamia Millia Islamia, Sukhdev Vihar, Okhla NSIC and Kalkaji Mandir.
Earlier, passengers travelling to South Delhi from Noida had to cross 10 stations to reach Mandi House. The Magenta line will cut short the travel journey of about 52 minutes to 19 minutes. Noida passengers travelling to Faridabad will be able switch trains at Kalkaji Mandir on the Violet line.
The Botanical Garden Metro — connecting the Magenta line and the Blue Line — will be Delhi Metro's first interchange station outside the capital city. Commuters will now pay Rs 30 instead of Rs 50, thanks to the interchange station.
Commuters travelling via this route can look forward to every station having Wi-Fi connectivity, trains offering more space for those using wheelchairs, charging points that are USB compatible, LCD screens displaying videos and a host of other new features.
This line will have fully automated platform screen doors at every station, similar to the jubilee line of the London tube.
Once the Botanical Garden-Janakpuri West stretch becomes operational (38.23 km), Hauz Khas will become an interchange station, to serve as an alternative to the congested Rajiv Chowk.
In yet another first, broad-sized coaches will run on the standard gauge track. "Coaches measuring 3.2 m in width will be in operation on the Magenta Line. This would also allow 30-40 more passengers than the capacity of coaches running on a standard gauge," DMRC said in a statement.
Moving beyond the jinx
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will be breaking the Noida “jinx” which prevented his predecessors from visiting the city over the fear of losing the next state election.
While former CM Akhilesh Yadav decided to keep away from Noida during his tenure, his father, Mulayam Singh Yadav, did not step foot in Noida even when the Nithari murders came to light.
Mayawati, however, braved the jinx and held a public meeting in Noida in 2011. She went on to lose the 2012 Assembly elections. Former CMs Kalyan Singh and Rajnath Singh had also kept away from Noida during their tenures.
Adityanath had on Saturday inspected the new Botanical Garden Metro station in Gautam Budh Nagar district.
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