On Thursday morning, the satellite town of Ghaziabad became the third city in the National Capital Region (NCR) to find a place on the Metro map, after Gurgaon and Noida.
By evening, about 30,000 people from Ghaziabad and adjacent areas in Uttar Pradesh (UP) had taken the Metro from the two new stations — Kaushambi and Vaishali — on the 2.57km extended corridor.
Thousands of people from Indirapuram, Kaushambi, Vaishali, Delta Colonies, Vasundhara and Sahibabad will benefit most from the new, much-awaited corridor, which was built through funding by the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA).
After neighbouring Noida, Ghaziabad becomes the second city in Uttar Pradesh to be connected to the Metro. The first train was flagged-off at 7am by UP cabinet minister Swami Prasad Maurya from Vaishali Metro station.
The brief inauguration was marred by political 'controversies' ahead of the tentative July 16 opening, which UP chief minister Mayawati was expected to attend. "The CM could not make it to the inauguration due to her busy schedule. We are working in co-ordination with DMRC officials, who were present at inauguration," said Maurya.
With the opening of the section, Dwarka Sector 21-Vaishali corridor has become the second longest Metro corridor, with a length of 46km, after the Dwarka-Noida corridor (49km).
"This is a very important extension of the Metro corridor and is expected to add 40,000 commuters by the end of the year. It will immensely benefit people living in Ghaziabad district and adjacent areas," said Anuj Dayal, spokesperson, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).