PM Modi takes Metro ride, opens Faridabad-Delhi line

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the much-awaited Badarpur-Faridabad Metro line, which will connect the national Capital with Faridabad. Apart from being a boon to commuters, the section will also boost economic growth in the region.

Modi, who took a train on the Metro’s Violet Line (Line 6) from Janpath station to reach Bata Chowk station in Faridabad, took passengers and Metro officials by surprise as he was earlier scheduled to take a chopper to Faridabad. He interacted with commuters, who took selfies with the Prime Minister.

Modi said the new section would help boost employment opportunities in this key industrial hub. “Haryana has the biggest potential to attract tourists from Delhi,” he said, adding that people can use the Metro, especially for weekend excursions, which would provide livelihood opportunities for the youth in the city.

Modi also highlighted how the newly built section is using clean energy in the form of solar power to generate around 2 MW (peak) to help run its operations. “In coming days, how clean and environment-friendly railway stations can be the direction in which the Metro is running a successful campaign,” the PM said.

He added that at a time when the entire world is worried about global warming, Delhi Metro is making its contribution to the green movement. “Metro is not just a facility for traveling. It can provide pace to economic activity. And, therefore, this rally was also named ‘gati-pragati’ (speed and progress) rally,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister said the extension was built at a cost of nearly Rs 2,500 crore and another Rs 600-700 crore will be spent to extend it to Ballabhgarh.

The 14-km-long extension has nine stations from Sarai to Escorts Mujesar, covering large part of the satellite township. Two more stations, NCB Colony and Ballabgarh, will come up by 2017.

The distance between the two terminal stations of Line 6 – ITO and Escorts Mujesar – would be covered in one hour and 20 minutes. The other stations are Sarai, NHPC Chowk, Mewala Maharajpur, Sector 28, Badkal Mor, Old Faridabad, Neelam Chowk Arjonda and Bata Chowk.

Once fully operational, Line 6 will span from Kashmere Gate to Escorts Mujesar having a length of 43.4 km, with a total of 32 stations, including five inter-change stations, namely Kashmere Gate, Mandi House, Central Secretariat, Lajpat Nagar and Kalkaji Mandir.

According to official estimates, the average ridership on Line 6 is around 1.92 lakh per day. It is expected to go up by another 2 lakh with the launch of the new section.

To tackle the rush, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is pressing into service five six-coach trains in its Line 6, which has a fleet of 30 trains. The rest 25 will gradually be converted into six-coach trains as well, DMRC said. Fare from Escorts Mujesar to ITO has been fixed at Rs 28.

It will be Rs 27 from Escorts Mujesar to Central Secretariat and Rajiv Chowk stations.
Addressing the rally, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said that the new train line also marked the completion of 200 kilometres of the Delhi Metro network.

Construction of 610 kms of metro lines is in progress in the country, besides laying of new lines measuring 620 kms is in advanced planning stage, he said.

The Union Minister also said that a skywalk would be created to link a Metro station in Faridabad with the railway station there.

AAP slams Delhi metro for not inviting CM
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday slammed the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for not inviting CM Arvind Kejriwal for the inauguration of Badarpur extension of the Metro line. “The DMRC is a professional body and usually does not indulge in such petty politics. DMRC is a joint-venture of the Centre and the Delhi government. In the past, when there was a proposal of extending Metro to other parts in the NCR, the DMRC would take Delhi government into confidence but this has not happened this time,” Saurabh Bhardwaj, AAP’s Delhi unit secretary and former Transport Minister, said. Meanwhile, a senior DMRC official said the inaugural programme was not organised by them. “DMRC did not organise the programme for the Badarpur-Faridabad line. Instead, Haryana government organised it. DMRC did not invite anybody,  including media,” he said.
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