Delhi Metro has tried to capture the grandeur of the Red Fort in its station near the monument on its Heritage Line.
The entrance to the station is similar to that of the Mughal-era fort. Red sandstone is used to give the station a unique signature.
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has tried to capture the unique facets of the four places -- Delhi Gate, Jama Masjid, Lal Quila (Red Fort) and Kashmere Gate -- in its stations built on the heritage link of the ITO-Kashmere Gate line.
“Shahjahan’s magnificent Red Fort, with its elegant palaces, symbolises a legacy of political power, which is alive till today as it is the venue of the prime minister’s address on Independence Day,” said a DMRC official.
There are 4 entry / exits to the station -- two towards Red Fort and two towards Lajpat Rai Market.
Special panels at the station will pay tribute to the imperial lifestyle. “The first panel will showcase the architecture of the palace complex. The central panel will represent two elevations of the fort walls - as a silhouette against the light, and as a present day photograph,” a DMRC spokesperson said.
A large plan of the city of Shahjahanabad will be incorporated in the artwork. Monochrome and coloured lithographs, juxtaposed with present-day images, will serve as references to life in Mughal and colonial periods.
The station will be a boon for tourists to the Mughal-era fort. As per Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) records, 10,000 people visit Red Fort daily. But it is less when compared to other monuments such as Humayun’s Tomb, Qutub Minar and India Gate.
“Tourists can either come here in private and tourist buses or take the Metro. The traffic around Old Delhi is always heavy and this affects tourist inflow,” said Mahesh Yadav, a guide at the monument. Delhi Traffic Police said 1.5 lakh vehicles use Netaji Subhash Marg, which crosses the monument, every day.
The nearest Metro station to Red Fort is Chandni Chowk, which is 1.6-km away. The parking lot of the monument is located more than half a kilometre away, making it difficult for children and the elderly to reach the fort.
Local shop owners are eagerly waiting for the opening of the new heritage line. The market union of the Old Lajpat Rai market said that the transport of material will become extremely easy for owners, as the market is barely 20 metres away from one of the four exits of the Lal Quila station.
“We rely on loaders to get our material. The consignment cannot be delivered near the market because of the crowd at the entrance. So, the loaders have to carry the cartons from the Jain mandir side of the road where they are unloaded. The station will cut down on our costs,” said Sahil Tripathy, owner of Saraswati electronics, in Old Lajpat Rai market.
The station is walking distance from the Digambar Jain Lal Mandir, Gauri Shankar Mandir and Gurdwara Sees Ganj Sahib.
“The increasing reach of the Metro will encourage commuters to give up on private vehicles. If this happens, we could probably hope to make the area pedestrians only,” said Mahroof Khan, secretary, market association of Dariba Kalan.