Narendra Modi to inaugurate Delhi Metro's Magenta Line today: Kejriwal not invited, Adityanath among invitees

Prime 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.

Security arrangements were heightened ahead of the launch. The elite Special Protection Group, which provides security to the prime minister, has taken control of the premises, PTI reported. Provincial Armed Constabulary and paramilitary forces are also a part of the security arrangements.

Three helipads have been made at Botanical Garden for conducting aerial surveillance, reported NDTV. To review the security arrangements, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath visited the millennium city Noida on Friday.

Arvind Kejriwal not invited

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.

Driver-less trains

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.

 Narendra Modi to inaugurate Delhi Metros Magenta Line today: Kejriwal not invited, Adityanath among invitees

Magenta Line of Delhi Metro during trial. Image credit: News18

This would be first line on the Delhi Metro network where driver-less 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. "This line will have many firsts to its credit. For the first time in India, trains will run unattended. The platform screen doors (PSDs) are also being used here for the first time," DMRC chief spokesperson Anuj Dayal said.

PSDs, installed to enhance commuter safety, are glass-made screens installed near the edge of platforms that open only when a train arrives and shut after it departs. "Besides, a new-age technology, the Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) signalling, that can facilitate movement of trains with a frequency of 90 to 100 seconds, will also be pressed into service," Dayal said.

Botanical Garden has been developed as the metro's first-ever inter-change station outside the boundaries of Delhi. Dayal said the new line would also prove economical for commuters, besides saving time. "The 28-kilometre stretch between the Kalkaji Mandir and Botanical Garden costs Rs 50. Now, with direct connectivity, the ride has been reduced to 12 km, costing Rs 30," he said.

The DMRC authorities said that 10 trains would operate on this new line, while two would be kept on reserve. The coaches running on this line have electronic information display, power charging capacity, including directly through USB ports, and colourful seats of different shades. They also have enhanced carrying capacity. The new trains are also energy efficient and save about 20 per cent of energy, the DMRC said. "The trains on this line will have six cars, four of them would be driving cars," Dayal said.

Apprehensions about driver-less technology

Apprehensions were raised about the possible flaws in driver-less 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-signalling 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.

As Delhi gets the Magenta Line on Monday, Mumbai commuters also have reason to be happy as they will also get AC locals on Christmas.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Dec 25, 2017 08:05:39 IST