The ITO-Kashmere Gate ‘Heritage Line’ of Delhi Metro will be thrown open on Sunday with the railway safety commissioner clearing the decks for its long- awaited commercial launch, the DMRC said today. Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will jointly inaugurate the line at 10 am and it will be open for public use from 12 pm onwards, DMRC chief spokesman Anuj Dayal said.
The Commissioner of Metro Railway Safety (CMRS) gave the green signal for the formal launch of the 5.17-km-long corridor yesterday following a two-day inspection early this week. With its launch, metro will make a major foray into old Delhi or the ‘Walled City’, with three stations– Delhi Gate, Jama Masjid and Red Fort.
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The new line, which is essentially an extension of the Violet Line that runs between Faridabad and ITO presently, will take considerable load off the Chandni Chowk and Chawri Bazar stations of Yellow Line. Once the section is launched, residents of the densely- populated area, made up of areas in and around the Mughal seat of power ‘Shahjahanabad’, will have direct access to commercial centres such as Connaught Place, Janpath, offices in Central Secretariat, and the satellite town of Faridabad.
‘Shahjahanabad’, with the Red Fort as its crowning glory, was founded by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the mid 17th century. The three stations of this line, all underground, have been designed in accordance with the heritage of the area to provide glimpses of its rich past and vibrant present. The DMRC had approached the CMRS, the nodal body that deals with matters pertaining to the safety of rail travel and train operations in the country, for the inspection of the line in March.
The DMRC has also submitted papers to the ISA (Independent Safety Assessor) for safety certification of signalling systems of the section, where trial runs of trains had begun last August. The CMRS declares any corridor fit for commercial operations after taking several civil and engineering aspects into consideration.
DMRC chief Mangu Singh had said the line was well on course for launch last December but a labour crunch triggered by a ban on construction and demolition activities and demonetisation led to the delay.