Modi to inaugurate new Metro line in Delhi, Kejriwal not invited

PM Narendra Modi (File Photo)

New Delhi, Dec 23 (IANS)┬áPrime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate a segment of the newly-built Magenta Line of Delhi Metro on Monday which will connect Botanical Garden in Noida to South Delhi’s Kalkaji Mandir, the government said on Saturday.

Modi will also address public at the inauguration, which will happen at the Botanical Garden Metro Station.

Locking horns with the Centre and the Delhi Metro since the fare hike, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s office denied receiving any invitation of the inauguration ceremony.

“We have no official intimation of the programme. Our top most priority is a safe Metro for the passengers and at a reasonable price. So far as the inauguration is concerned we haven’t received any invitation. The question must better be put to the DMRC and Urban Development Ministry,” a Delhi government spokesperson told IANS.

One of the stakeholders in the fare hike proposal committee, the Delhi government has opposed the move and has even offered to pay half the yearly cost of Metro operations.

“This is the third Metro line to be inaugurated by the Prime Minister in 2017. He had earlier dedicated the Kochi Metro to the nation in June, and the Hyderabad Metro in November. As on both those occasions, the Prime Minister will travel on a stretch of this new line, before arriving at the venue of the public meeting,” a statement said.

The Botanical Garden-Kalkaji section will comprise nine stations. Apart from Kalkaji Mandir, all other stations are elevated.

Commuters can reduce their travel time between the two locations from existing 52 minutes (Botanical Garden to Mandi House via Blue Line and onwards to Kalkaji on Violet Line) to 19 minutes on the Magenta Line.

The entire line, when complete, will run from Botanical Garden to Janakpuri West.

This would be first line on the Delhi Metro network where driverless trains will be introduced along with an advanced degree of automation, which will bring down the frequency of trains arriving at stations down to 90 seconds.
Apprehensions were raised about the possible flaws in driverless technology earlier in the week, when a train parked in Kalindi Kunj depot suffered a failure of brakes and rammed through a side wall going off rails.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation afterwards said the train was in for maintenance and off-sigalling system and was being operated by a Metro staff. Four officials, including a deputy general manager, were sacked after being held responsible for the accident.