Metro’s Aqua line connecting Noida to Greater Noida opens today, CM Yogi Adityanath to inaugurate
At 29.7 kilometres, the Aqua Line will be the longest Metro corridor in the country to be inaugurated at one go. At 29km, officials said, the Hyderabad Metro held the earlier record.Updated: Jan 25, 2019 11:25 IST
Three years after work began on Metro’s Aqua Line that will connect Noida with Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will formally inaugurate the much-awaited corridor on Friday.
At 29.7 kilometres, this line will be the longest Metro corridor in the country to be inaugurated at one go. At 29km, officials said, the Hyderabad Metro held the earlier record.
Adityanath is scheduled to arrive in Noida’s Sector 84 in a helicopter from where he will proceed to open the line from Sector 137 station. From there, he will take a Metro ride to the terminal station in Greater Noida.
“There are several other specialties to this line. We are generating solar energy, have women drivers, and there are free water and toilet facilities for people,” PD Upadhyay, executive director, Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC), said.
Work on the Aqua Line started in May 2015 and was completed in a record time of three-and-a-half years. It has been constructed at a cost of Rs 5,503 crore.
Mass public transport has been mostly unavailable in both cities, except for a handful of buses, and informal services such as autos have also been few and far between, especially in Greater Noida.
This has caused a lot many traffic issues in the region. In fact, for the inauguration, Gautam Budh Nagar SSP Vaibhav Krishna on Thursday took to social media took to social media seeking traffic volunteers for the chief minister’s visit.
Over 25 residents from various backgrounds and residential societies responded to the call to manage traffic near the Sector 137 and Depot Metro stations and supplement the traffic staff.
“It is a community engagement initiative that we will push further in future. We have got a good response and will seek their help in managing traffic around Sector 137 and Depot Metro stations, the two points from where the chief minister will board and exit,” Krishna said.
He added that the police department will initiate more community engagement activities to involve people in managing traffic and policing. He said the volunteers coming for Friday’s event will be briefed at the spot by traffic police officers.
“It is great that city authorities and citizens are working together to help each other out. We know that the traffic police is shortstaffed now. and people are happy to chip in. In Sector 137, we already have a group that takes up community initiatives,” Vishnu Saini, a resident of Supertech Ecociti in Sector 137, said.
The Metro service is expected to benefit a large number of commuters, and the NMRC expects a daily footfall of over one lakh passengers.
Delhi Metro cards won’t apply
All stations on the Aqua Line have been decorated with artwork done for free by two private groups. Additionally, all stations will have free drinking water and toilet facilities.
“The generation of solar power is also a huge advantage with the Aqua Line, and is an eco-friendly initiative. We will produce a huge surplus of electricity that will be returned to the grid. So, we are not paying for power to run the metro operations, we are also earning from it,” Upadhyay said.
While the fares are comparable to the Delhi metro, there are many challenges too that make it different from the network.
The initial payment for a new mobility card will be Rs 300, as against Rs 200 for Delhi Metro. The Delhi Metro tokens and smart cards will not be valid on this line. This new transport mode will reduce commute problems between Noida and Greater Noida, but connectivity to Delhi is still a concern. Additionally, unlike the two- or three-minute frequency on busy Delhi Metro lines, the Aqua line will have a frequency of 15 minutes.
Adityanath will also inaugurate an electronic manufacturing cluster, expected to generate an investment of Rs 3,500 crore, of Tegna Electronics Private Limited in Greater Noida’s Ecotech-VI industrial area.