A Delhi Metro train chugged into Gurgaon on Monday, bringing the satellite city a little closer to the national capital and fulfilling the desire of millions of its residents for an effective transport system.
Without much fanfare, the 14.47 km link connecting Qutub Minar to HUDA (Haryana Urban Development Authority) City Centre in Gurgaon was thrown open to the public at 8 AM as revenue services commenced simultaneously at both stations.
There was no formal inaugural function.
A brand-new broad gauge train, which began its first journey at 8 AM from Qutub Minar, chugged into HUDA City Centre station at around 8.30 AM.
With this, Gurgaon has become the second satellite city to get Metro connectivity after Noida, where it reached last November.
People of the Millennium City have been waiting for an effective transport system to travel to and from Delhi and the launch of Metro services is likely to ease some pressure on road traffic.
The mood was jubilant at both the stations where hundreds of people waited to enjoy the Metro comfort.
Some people said they were waiting at the stations from 6 AM in the morning to take a ride on the first train that goes to Gurgaon.
Aakansha, software professional who works at a private firm in Gurgaon, said, "Now I will have a comfortable ride to my office. I don't have to worry about traffic jam and other things".
To facilitate easy movement of passengers from Qutub Minar to Central Delhi, the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) will run connecting bus services from Qutub Minar Metro station to Central Secretariat Metro station from 6.15 am to 11.45 pm.
Officials said the details and the frequency are being worked out and it is likely that the buses will run at a frequency of 10 minutes.
DMRC will initially put five trains on the corridor that will connect Gurgaon with south Delhi which will run at a frequency of 12 minutes, a DMRC spokesman said, adding the number of trains will be increased gradually.
Passengers can cover the entire 14.47 km distance in around 27 minutes at a rate of Rs 18, while the minimum ticket rate is priced at Rs 8.
The DMRC has made special arrangements at all stations to help the commuters get tokens and other things on the first day today.
The line has 10 stations. Trains will not stop at the Chhattarpur Metro station initially as this station is likely to be opened for the public by August.
The construction work of the Chhattarpur station was delayed as the land for building of the station was not available with DMRC till October last year.
The DMRC is now constructing the station in record time using pre fabricated steel structures.
This section will be integrated with the under-construction Central Secretariat-Qutub Minar line next month which will ultimately be added to the existing Jehangirpuri-Central Secretariat line.
The DMRC will then run 60 trains on the entire stretch at a frequency of 3 minutes.
Once the entire section (HUDA City Centre-Central Secretariat) becomes operational, passengers can hope to reach the millennium city in around an hour from Connaught Place in the heart of Delhi.
Over 100 Customer Facilitation Agents are likely to be deployed as a special measure at all the stations to help them use gates, lifts and escalators and guide them at platforms and circulating area of the station.
Besides this, special Customer Care Centres will also be set up at all stations of this line for passenger convenience.
The mood is already jubilant in the satellite city with people deciding to commute through metro to reach Delhi.
The remaining part of the corridor from Qutub Minar to Central Secretariat is expected to be open by the end of July.
Ultimately, the line will be integrated with the existing Line 2 (Jehangirpuri-Central Secretariat).
The Central Secretariat-HUDA City Centre line, built at a total cost of Rs 3,720 crore, is expected to add over 3.4 lakh people to the Metro system by 2011. PTI