Delhi Metro: Hop on for a heritage tour of Old Delhi monuments from today
The Heritage Line, an extension of the existing Violet Line of the Metro, will be thrown open for public use by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and Union urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday. The line, once operational, will connect the some of the famous monuments of Old Delhi and bring several other areas of the walled city within walkable distance of residents.delhi Updated: May 28, 2017 00:03 IST
On Sunday, Delhi Metro for the very first time will reach right at the doorstep of the Red Fort and other monuments of Old Delhi.
The Heritage Line, an extension of the existing Violet Line of the Metro, will be thrown open for public use by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and Union urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday. The line, once operational, will connect the some of the famous monuments of Old Delhi and bring several other areas of the walled city within walkable distance of residents. HT takes a look.
Walk to monuments
Bajendra Tyagi has been a guide at the Red Fort for nearly five years. While Sunday is a busy day for him with visitors flocking to the Mughal era monument, he is making special preparations for May 28.
“The new Metro line is opening and I hope my business will improve from now,” he said. Tyagi added that the Lal Quila metro station is going to take a lot of cars off the congested Netaji Subhash Marg.
“The biggest problem that visitors have been facing is that of parking. People have to park their cars over half a kilometre away from the entry point. Definitely, people will now shift to the metro as Red Fort will be a walk of just five minutes or even less for them,” Tyagi said.
The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) is hoping that the Metro would make other tourist attractions in the area famous as well.
“Apart from the Red Fort, Jama Masjid and Delhi Gate, we are hoping that the new Metro line draws more visitors to other attractions as well. These include the Walled city and the Martello Tower that the British added for defense after taking control of the city,” an ASI official said.
The Old Delhi area has at least four major hospitals, none of which were accessible till now as buses aren’t reliable and majority of the crowds visiting the health hubs did not own cars.
Lok Nayak Hospital, which sees at least 5,000 people, and GB Pant hospital, that gets around 3,000 visitors everyday, will come within walking distance from the Delhi Gate Metro station. The same station will also feed the busy Maulana Azad Medical College.
Sporting activities too are set to get a major boost from the new line as two stadiums in the area will be connected by the Metro.
The Ambedkar Stadium, which hosts two of India’s biggest football competitions – the Subroto Cup and the Durand Cup – will be walking distance from the Delhi Gate station. Similarly, Firoz Shah Kotla Stadium, which hosts IPL cricket matches, will get another easy access apart from the ITO metro station.
Boost for markets
For traders, the biggest gain from the new Metro line will be a decline in the number of cars on the roads.
Traders and residents of Daryaganj, the only two areas not connected by the Metro so far, are likely to be the biggest beneficiaries of the Heritage Line. Areas like Chandni Chowk, Chawri bazaar had got Metro connectivity nearly a decade ago.
“The relief will be from unending traffic congestion at Ansari road and other radial roads,” said Renuka Gupta, former councilor of Ballimaran.
Jewellers at the the famous Dariba Kalan market also expected a boost in business. “Many visitors had shifted to other markets like Lajpat Nagar due to the increasing number of cars here. We hope things will get better from Sunday,” said Vineet Seth, secretary, Dariba Jewellers Association.
Daryaganj traders are also hoping for a revival in their business, which they claim has already seen a decline with the onset of the e-commerce business.
“There are around 600 publishers in Daryaganj. Apart from the congestion, we hope that the metro connectivity will bring more visitors to the Sunday book market,” said SC Sethi, member of the Federation of Publishers and Booksellers Associations in India.