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Christmas gift from Delhi Metro: PM Modi to open Botanical Garden-Kalkaji line next week

The Botanical Garden-Kalkaji Mandir section of Delhi Metro’s Magenta Line will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 25

delhi Updated: Dec 18, 2017 22:04 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi Metro,Kalkaji line,Botanical Garden
An inside look of Kalkaji Mandir underground station on Delhi Metro’s Magenta Line. The line is likely to shave off 45 minutes travel time between Noida and south Delhi.(Ajay Aggarwal/HT Photo)

Here’s some good news for people commuting between Noida and south Delhi. A section of the awaited Magenta Line of the Delhi Metro — from Botanical Garden to Kalkaji Mandir — is going to open to the public from December 25.

The 12.64-km stretch is part of the 38.23-km Botanical Garden-Janakpuri West corridor under the Metro’s Phase III of the expansion plans, and will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

December 25 has been a significant date for the Delhi Metro as its first line — the Red Line from Dilshad Garden to Rithala — was inaugurated on Christmas 2002. The line was flagged off by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

With the opening of the new line, Noida residents will save at least 45 minutes of commute time while travelling to south Delhi.

The section that is opening has nine stations: Botanical Garden, Okhla Bird Sanctuary, Kalindi Kunj, Jasola Vihar-Shaheen Bagh, Okhla Vihar, Jamia Milia Islamia, Sukhdev Vihar, Okhla NSIC and Kalkaji Mandir.

Kalkaji Mandir is underground and the others are elevated. The route will cater to two major educational institutions — Jamia Millia Islamia and Amity University.

The Botanical Garden Metro station will be the first interchange station outside Delhi and since both Botanical Garden and Kalkaji Mandir are interchange stations, there will be a significant reduction in travelling time between the Blue and Violet Lines.

Once the entire corridor opens, commuters from Noida will be able to go to Gurgaon by changing trains at Hauz Khas.The commute from Noida and Faridabad will also get shorter. Passengers between Noida and Faridabad will change trains at Kalkaji Mandir.

What’s new

Brightly lit and with videos guiding you on routes, the Magenta Line will promise both comfort and convenience for the commuters. The trains will have Wi-Fi, USB ports along with charging points, LED and LCD screens and backrest near the wheelchair area. The seats in the new trains will be red, pink, orange and blue to give a lively feel.

This will be the first Metro line with driverless trains, a first in the country. Initially, trains on this route will run with drivers for 2-3 years.

The stretch will also be the first after the Airport Express line to have screen doors on Metro platforms. Post this, every new line launched under Phase III will have the same feature.

In fact, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has decided to include platform screen doors in all stations that will be built under Phase IV as well.

Delay in inauguration

Sources said the line has been ready ever since the Commissioner for Metro Rail Safety (CMRS), after visiting the section on November 13-15, gave the go-ahead for its opening, but a confirmation from the Prime Minister’s Office was awaited. “Now that the Gujarat election results are out, the confirmation has come from PMO,” a source said.

A senior official of the Union Housing and urban affairs ministry, who did not want to be quoted, however, said that the delay in opening the Magenta Line despite the CMRS approval was because the authorities were sorting out logistical issues related to its inauguration. “It is preposterous to link the opening of the line to Gujarat election results. Once a line is declared ready for opening, there are a slew of logistical issues that needs to be addressed before it can be thrown open to public.This takes time,” the official said.

First Published: Dec 18, 2017 13:31 IST