Commuters celebrate as Metro crosses Delhi borders

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Passengers waiting at the Mayur Vihar Phase-I station to board the Metro train on its maiden run on the Yamuna Bank-Noida route in the Capital on Friday.
Passengers waiting at the Mayur Vihar Phase-I station to board the Metro train on its maiden run on the Yamuna Bank-Noida route in the Capital on Friday.

Our Bureau

New Delhi, Nov. 13 Delhi Metro Rail Corporation on Friday began to operate beyond Delhi into Uttar Pradesh.

With the Yamuna Bank station in East Delhi to Noida Sector 32 line starting operations, the Metro is now truly on its way to revamp Delhi’s city transport system. The 13 km-long line, which has 11 stations, will make it easier for people living in the suburb to commute to the city.

The ridership at the new section at 6 p.m. today was 73,797 and earnings were Rs 9.69 lakh.

A commuter Anshuman Mohanty said “The new line is much more convenient than before. It is also more economical than taking one’s own vehicle to work every day as I save on fuel costs. Travel time from home to work is now halved to 30 minutes from an hour.”

He travels from Mayur Vihar Phase I to Rajiv Chowk station in Central Delhi every day.

DMRC has also provided ample space for those commuters wanting to park their car at the nearest station, said Mr Mohanty. At present, on the new route, there are parking facilities available at the Yamuna Bank and Akshardham stations. However, as soon as the other stations along the route are completed, parking will be available elsewhere too.

Road traffic

The Metro, however, may not give a breather to Delhi’s clogged roads just yet. Apart from the fact that the number of new cars added every day is phenomenal, the main problem remains proper connectivity.

“I don’t think the traffic on roads is any less just now. May be in the future, after the connectivity to other far away areas in the city improve,” said Mr Abhishek Tyagi, a PhD scholar who travels between Noida Section 32 and Delhi University very often.

A similar view was echoed by auto driver Mr M.B. Gurung. “It isn’t useful for people who have to travel around a lot,” he said.

Teething problems

Some teething problems, however, remain. When travelling on the new line, the automatic announcement that tells commuters which side the doors would open left people confused. At the Mayur Vihar Ph 1 Extension station, the announcement said,

“The doors will open to the left, please stay clear of the doors.” To the amusement of the hurried commuters, the doors actually opened to the right.

Further, between the New Ashok Nagar and Mayur Vihar Ph 1 Extension station, the lights went off for a few seconds.

This happened both on the way up the line towards Noida, and while towards Yamuna Bank.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated November 14, 2009)
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