Nagpur, India (Urban Transport News): The Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation (Maha-Metro) commenced commercial operations on the first section of Nagpur Metro Aqua Line between Lokmannya Nagar Metro Station and Sitabuldi Interchange today. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Minister of States for Housing & Urban Affairs, Civil Aviation, Commerce & Industry Hardeep Singh Puri have flagged off the first train on the 11-km section having 6 metro stations between Lokmannya Nagar "This is indeed a great occasion for the people of Nagpur, as the 11 km Aqua Line is becoming operational today within a short span after the opening of 13.5 km section of the Orange Line on 07 March 2019", said Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State for Housing & Urban Affairs.
"It is commendable that sustainable technologies have been adopted by Maha Metro for the project, ensuring a cost saving of 10%", he added. Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Nitin Gadkari; Urban Development and Public Works (Public Undertaking) Minister of Maharashtra Eknath Shinde; Secretary, Union Ministry for Housing & Urban Affairs, Durga Shankar Mishra and other key leaders have joined the inaugural ceremony held at Subhash Nagar metro station, Higna Road, Nagpur.
With the opening of this 11 km long section of Aqua line, a total of 24.5 km metro rail network now become operation for the public which is about two-thirds of the total network of Phase I of Nagpur Metro Rail project. The 13.5 km section of Orange line was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 7th March 2019. The 11 km section of Aqua line on Reach III which opened today has six operational stations namely Lokmanya Nagar, Bansi Nagar, Vasudev Nagar, Rachana Ring Road, Subhash Nagar, Ambazari Lake View, LAD Square, Shankar Nagar, Institute of Engineers, Jhansi Rani Square and finally Sitabuldi Interchange. The other five stations are expected to open in April 2020, said in a press statement.
The North-South corridor of the Nagpur Metro Rail which was opened earlier is known as the Orange Line as the city is famously called. The East-West corridor gave the name of Aqua Line as it passes through the water-body of Nagpur-Ambazari Lake, Gandhi Sagar, and Nag River, the later gives the name Nagpur to the city
The opening of Aqua Line will give a major boost to the academic institutions, industrial areas, residential colonies amongst others prominently. Also, it will provide major connectivity to the residents of these areas to the North-South areas of the city including but not limited to railway stations, the airport, inter-state and intercity bus stations.
Given the importance of the localities like Sitabuldi, Jhansi Rani Square, Ramdaspeth, Dharampeth, Hingna Road, Subhash Nagar, Vasudev Nagar, Lokmanya Nagar to name a few, and the traffic congestion, a road journey between Lokmanya Nagar and Sitabuldi presently takes over 45 minutes. Nagpur Metro will reduce this time drastically by more than half. One can commute between these two locations in just 20 minutes and has to pay just ₹20 for the same. It also will substantially reduce the pollution and road accident fatalities in the city
The commercial services on Aqua Line between Lokmanya Nagar Metro Station and Sitabuldi Interchange will commence from today at 2 pm and continue till 8 pm. Subsequently, commuters can avail of regular Metro Train services from 8 am to 8 pm every day. Train services will be available every 30 minutes.
The fare structure has been decided as per the distance and the station concerned. The fare for the journey between Sitabuldi Interchange and Lokmanya Nagar Metro Station will cost just ₹20. Same for a ride till Vasudev Nagar. Those wanting to travel Sitabuldi Interchange to Metro Stations of Subhash Nagar, Institute of Engineers, Zanshi Rani Square, have to pay just ₹10 for the same. Similarly, ride from Lokmanya Nagar to Khapri, New Airport, Airport South or Jai Prakash Nagar will cost ₹30.
With the operation on two-third of the project length having commenced thus and the balance project stated for completion progressively by the end of the year 2020, the city is on a fast forward more and can boast of a world-class, modern, comfortable, convenient, affordable, inclusive and environment-friendly metro rail services.