Selfies, joyrides and family outings mark first day of Delhi Metro Heritage Line
The ITO-Kashmere Gate line was thrown open for public on Sunday. With its launch, the Metro makes inroads into old Delhi or the ‘Walled City’ with four stations--Delhi Gate, Jama Masjid, Red Fort and Delhi Gate.delhi Updated: May 28, 2017 23:50 IST
It is 11:40 am and a man in his mid 60s is quietly waiting at the Kashmiri Gate metro station. The announcement -- “the first train of Heritage Line has arrived.” -- brings him out of his reverie. He boards the train, takes a seat in a corner and gets busy admiring the new compartments.
At the first glance, Ashok Kumar Kapoor, a resident of Punjabi Bagh, looks like any other commuter. But he is not.
A self-proclaimed Delhi metro fan, Kapoor claimed he never missed a single ride of any Metro train on its first day ever since the public transport mode made inroads into Delhi a decade and a half ago.
“It is like watching a movie, first day-first show. I took the first train ride when Delhi Metro opened its first corridor in December 25, 2002 from Shahdara to Tis Hazari,” he said. A retired bank employee, he had taken a day’s off from his office for it then.
Like Kapoor, hundreds of others, who might not be as ardent a fan of Delhi metro as him, arrived to take the first ride on the Heritage Line.
The ITO-Kashmere Gate line was thrown open for public on Sunday. With its launch, the Metro makes inroads into old Delhi or the ‘Walled City’ with four stations--Delhi Gate, Jama Masjid, Red Fort and Delhi Gate.
Kabir Khan, who lives in Dariba Kalan, came along with his family at the Jama Masjid metro station. “I had to go to my friends house in Dwarka. We waited for this route to begin. This will save my time as I now will be able to change trains without going to Rajiv Chowk and Central Secretariat.”
Till now, a commuter travelling from Rithala or Dilshad Garden was first required to first deboard at Kashmere gate to take a train to Rajiv Chowk, and from there change for a destination on the Dwarka-Noida/Vaishali line.
With the new station at Kashmere Gate, passengers can directly go to Mandi house to take the Dwarka line, saving the travel time by at least 15 minutes.
Among the first passengers of the line were college students going to North Campus, GTB Nagar and other areas for coaching classes, tourists who had clubbed their visit to Red Fort or Jama Masjid and people visiting friends in different parts of Old Delhi.
The concourse of the station is lined with beautiful paintings and a panel showcasing the history of Old Delhi and its monuments.
Selfies and photographs with these paintings in the background remained the biggest attraction on the first day.
Gaurva Kapoor, who was travelling to Vishwavidyalaya metro station from ITO said, “Now a visit to North Campus would often mean dropping down with friends for delicacies at old Delhi.”