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Prime Minister Narendra Modi to launch Delhi Metro’s magenta line on 25th December,2017 (Christmas Day).

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate Delhi Metro’s magenta line connecting Botanical Garden in Noida with Kalkaji Mandir in south Delhi on 25 December.

The 12.64km section will significantly reduce travel time between Noida and south Delhi. It is part of the Botanical Garden (Noida)-Janakpuri West (Delhi) corridor. Modi will also address a public meeting in Noida. This is the third metro line in the country to be inaugurated by the prime minister this year.

Modi had earlier dedicated Kochi Metro to the nation in June and Hyderabad Metro in November. As on these earlier occasions, the prime minister will travel on a stretch of the new Delhi Metro line, before arriving at the venue of the public meeting.

“The new line represents one more link in the union government’s push to modernise urban transport in the country. It represents the drive towards technology-centric, and environment-friendly mass rapid urban transport systems,” according to an official statement.

Recently, a metro train of the magenta line crashed into a wall at Kalindi Kunj depot after it rolled back on a ramp while being taken for washing. There were no casualties, according to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) which had blamed the incident on “human error and negligence” during maintenance.

DMRC had also asserted that it would have no bearing on the launch. Following the incident, the Delhi Metro had suspended four officials, including the in-charge of the Kalindi Kunj depot. The official statement further said that the prime minister has often used the metro to travel for engagements in the national capital region.

In January 2016, the prime minister and the then French President Francois Hollande travelled in metro from Delhi to Gurgaon to jointly lay the foundation stone of the headquarters of the International Solar Alliance. More recently, in April 2017, Modi and his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull travelled by metro to the Akshardham Temple.

“In keeping with the objective of enhancing connectivity through mass rapid transit systems, the union government has launched nine metro projects covering a stretch of nearly 165 kilometres over the past three-and-a-half years. Five new metro rail projects covering a total length of over 140 kilometres have been approved. Metro lines of around 250 kilometre length are proposed to be commissioned over the next two years,” it added.

As preparations are in full swing for the inauguration of a segment of the Delhi Metro’s upcoming Magenta Line by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 25, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal could be missing in the launch photographs. Locked in a bitter battle with the centre over the recent fare hike of the Delhi Metro, the Delhi chief minister’s office has denied receiving an invitation.

“We have no official intimation of the programme. Our top-most priority is a safe Metro for the passengers and at a reasonable price. So far as the inauguration is concerned we haven’t received any invitation. The question must better be put to the DMRC and Urban Development Ministry,” a Delhi government spokesperson told news agency IANS.

One of the stakeholders in the fare hike proposal committee, the Delhi government had opposed the move and had even offered to pay half the yearly cost of running Metro operations.

PM Modi will inaugurate the 12.64-km stretch between Kalkaji and Noida’s Botanical Garden, part of the Botanical Garden-Janakpuri West corridor, which will bring Noida closer to south Delhi. He will also address a gathering at the Botanical Garden Metro Station.

“This is the third Metro line to be inaugurated by the Prime Minister in 2017. He had earlier dedicated the Kochi Metro to the nation in June, and the Hyderabad Metro in November. The prime minister will travel on the stretch before his address,” a statement said.After the new section is opened, commuters will be able to reach Kalkaji Mandir Metro Station from Botanical Garden in 19 minutes. The travel time on the Blue and Violet lines of the Delhi Metro is 52 minutes with interchange point at Mandi House station.

The coaches will have LED information display, power charging capacity and colourful seats. The new stations have been decorated using themes of nature, yoga, and cultural landmarks. At the new Kalkaji Mandir station, ceramic murals of Lotus Temple, ISKCON Temple and nature-themed artworks, and paintings of birds have been displayed.

This would be first line on the Delhi Metro network where driverless trains will be introduced along with the Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) signalling technology, which facilitate the movement of trains within a frequency of 90 to 100 seconds.

The platform screen doors (PSDs) are also being used here for the first time. PSDs are glass-made screens installed near the edge of platforms that open only when a train arrives and shut after it departs. They are installed for enhanced commuter safety.

A driverless Delhi Metro train on trial run crashed through a wall on Tuesday at the Kalindi Kunj depot and barely missed crashing to the ground. No one was hurt in the crash, which allegedly took place because the train’s brakes were disengaged.  DMRC chief spokesperson Anuj Dayal called it a “human error” during maintenance, and reassured that there was no reason to worry.

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