Prime minister Narendra Modi, on December 25, 2017, launched a 12-km stretch of the Magenta Line, a part of the Delhi Metro’s phase-III construction, with a ride between the Botanical Garden and Okhla Bird Sanctuary stations in Noida, around 1 pm. At 5 pm, the commercial services commenced on the line. The other stations on this section are Kalindi Kunj, Jasola Vihar Shaheen Bagh, Jamia Millia Islamia, Okhla Vihar, Sukhdev Vihar, Okhla NSIC and Kalkaji Mandir. While the Kalkaji Mandir station is underground, all the other stations are elevated.
With this launch, the total length of the metro network in Delhi-NCR has increased to 228 kilometres. Delhi Metro’s first stretch was declared open by then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, on December 24, 2002. Modi was accompanied by Uttar Pradesh governor Ram Naik, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, union minister for housing and urban affairs Hardeep Singh Puri and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) chief Mangu Singh, during the metro ride.
Initially, the trains will be operated with a frequency of 5.14 minutes on this section. The other end of the line, for now, will be south Delhi’s Kalkaji Mandir. However, by April 2018, the entire 38-km corridor, stretching till Janakpuri west, is scheduled to be functional.
With this launch, Botanical Garden became the first interchange station of the DMRC located outside Delhi’s boundaries, as it was already one of the stations on the Dwarka-Noida City Centre Blue Line. Through this station, the commuters will be able to travel from Noida to various parts of south Delhi and the domestic terminal of the Indira Gandhi International Airport, when the entire Magenta Line becomes operational by March, 2018.
Until now, it used to take around 52 minutes to travel from Noida to south Delhi. The Magenta Line has brought it down to 19 minutes. Some features of the new line include platform screen doors, which are currently there only on the Airport Express Line and new generation trains, which can run on an unattended mode or without operators. However, the DMRC has announced that for the time being, the trains will be operated manually.
Ten trains would operate on the new line, while two more would be kept in reserve, one each at the Kalkaji Mandir and Botanical Garden stations, the DMRC said. The coaches of the trains running on this line will have electronic information display boards, power-charging facilities, including directly through USB ports and seats of different colours. The new, energy-efficient trains would save about 20 per cent energy, as compared to the existing coaches, the DMRC said.