New Delhi, Jan 6 (IANS) The Delhi Metro Wednesday rolled on to Anand Vihar, on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border, expecting to ease traffic flow in densely populated east Delhi. The new line, which opens for public Thursday, will also be of great help to Ghaziabad commuters.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and union Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy flagged off the 6.25-km line at Yamuna Bank station in east Delhi.
Dikshit and Reddy, along with mediapersons, took a ride to Anand Vihar and back as east Delhi residents stood on rooftops to welcome the train.
This is the fourth line of the Metro network and has five stations - Laxmi Nagar, Nirman Vihar, Preet Vihar, Karkardooma and Anand Vihar. The last two will have parking facilities.
Two more stations - Kaushambi and Vaishali - in Uttar Pradesh will be added by September this year, before the 2010 Commonwealth Games start.
A metro official said: "Nearly half of the 6.25-km line is along busy Vikas Marg, which is one of the busiest roads in east Delhi and witnesses heavy road traffic jams every day. It takes around 40 minutes to travel from Yamuna Bank to Anand Vihar by road but with the Metro the same distance will take around one-fourth of the time - 11 minutes."
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has also constructed two foot overbridges at the Laxmi Nagar and Nirman Vihar stations to provide commuters safe access to the stations. It has also proposed property development at the Karkardooma and Anand Vihar stations.
Manvinder Singh, a resident of Anand Vihar, told IANS: "The new line will reduce our travel time drastically. It will be a comfortable journey from home to office and back every day."
Delhi Metro Chief E. Sreedharan said: "We are expecting a ridership of 60,000 on the line and it will be very beneficial for east Delhi residents."
The line is expected to ferry 100,000 passengers by the end of this year, metro officials added.
Asked about the increasing number of technical glitches in the Metro network, Sreedharan said: "A team of 80 Germans is camping in Delhi and it is looking at technical glitches being reported. We have encountered no problem in the last few days."
The new line will be highly beneficial for thousands of daily commuters coming to the national capital from Ghaziabad and other Uttar Pradesh towns. It will now be a seamless travel from Anand Vihar to Dwarka as the Anand Vihar-Yamuna Bank line would join the Yamuna Bank-Dwarka line.
Talking about new Metro trains required to tackle congestion, Sreedharan said: "We have ordered 83 new trains, of which 16 have already arrived. The new trains will be of both four and six coaches. Initially, trains with four coaches would arrive."
Metro authorities said they will allot three to four trains for the new route.
Delhi Metro, which began services on a small scale in December 2002, now ferries nearly 900,000 commuters a day. With the new line, it now runs over a network of 96 km and has 83 stations.