Delhi Metro's fifth line, the Inderlok-Mundka corridor, was inaugurated by Union Urban Development Minister S Jaipal Reddy and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit here today.
The line had earlier received the statutory safety clearances from the Commissioner for Metro Railway Safety, Mr R K Kardam, who had inspected it for two days on March 29 and 30.
The 15.15 km line is India's first standard gauge (4 ft 8.5 inches) Metro line and it will be opened to the public from 0600 hours tomorrow.
The line has 14 elevated stations: Inderlok, Ashok Park Main, Punjabi Bagh East, Shivaji Park, Madipur, Paschim Vihar East, Paschim Vihar West, Peera Garhi, Udyog Nagar, Surajmal Stadium, Nangloi, Nangloi Railway station, Rajdhani Park and Mundka.
Over one lakh commuters are expected to use the line everyday, a spokesman for the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said.
Work on the first phase of the Delhi Metro project began on October 1, 1998. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh dedicated Phase I to the nation on December 30, 2005, two years and nine months ahead of schedule. Subsequently, two extensions (Indraprastha-Barakhamba Road and Dwarka sub-city) were also added.
Phase I of the Delhi Metro network consists of 65.1 km. This comprises Line-1: Shahdara – Rithala (22 km); Line-2: Vishwa Vidyalaya – Central Secretariat (11 km) and Line-3: Indraprastha – Dwarka Sec.9 (32.1 km).
Work on Phase II of the Delhi Metro project began in 2006. The second phase, to be completed before the Commonwealth Games are held in New Delhi in October 2010, will add about 125 km to the network and bring the satellite townships of Gurgaon, Noida and Ghaziabad into the Metro map. DMRC has already opened 46 kms of the sections of Phase-II covering Noida as well.
With the commissioning of the Inderlok-Mundka line, the Metro network has increased to over 111 kms and 97 stations.
According to the spokesman, the facilities available at the stations on the new line opened today include smarter automatic fare colelction (AFC) gates, which will allow faster passage for commuters and improve passenger management. These gates will also have a provision for return of tokens from the AFC gates.
The new system will come in handy for passengers who have been provided with invalid tokens as invalid tokens will be returned through a token return cup whereas valid tokens will remain captured and access provided to the passenger.
In case of an invalid token, the passenger can retrieve it and hand it to the operator for appropriate action at the customer care centre. The current lot of automatic fare collection (AFC) gates does not have this provision.
A total of 91 AFC Gates will be provided on this line comprising of 33 Entry, 44 Exit and 14 Disabled Friendly AFC Gates.
As many as 84 lifts and escalators (42 each) are installed to provide easy access to senior citizens, physically handicapped people and others to reach from ground to concourse level and further from concourse level to platform level.
The Ticket Office Machines (TOM) for this line will have touch screens. Touch screen interface provides ease of operation for the TOM operator, thus improving passenger handling. A reader is installed inside the TOM, which will reduce the manual operation in case of a token problem. This will help in reduction of waiting time at the ticket window. A total of 39 such TOMs will be available on the stations of this line.
There will be two customer care centres at each of the stations on the line. Toilets have been provided at all the stations in the unpaid area. Parking is available at 10 of the 14 stations on this line, the spokesman added.
Initially, ten trains will run on this line with a peak hour frequency of 6 minutes, which will be subsequently increased, if need be, keeping in mind the ridership pattern. One extra train will be kept as standby for emergency use. The time taken to travel from one end to the other end of line will be 29 minutes.