New Delhi: Commuters can now beat the heavy road traffic on Ring Roads in the national capital by taking metro as the 24.82-km Kalkaji Mandir-Janakpuri West stretch of Delhi Metro's Magenta Line was thrown open to the public on Tuesday.
The corridor of the Magenta Line, part of Phase-III of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, was on Monday inaugurated by Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs (Independent Charge) Hardeep Singh Puri and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at Nehru Enclave metro station.
"Services began from 6 am from Kalkaji Mandir and Janakpuri West stations simultaneously. After the opening of this section, the operational span of the network built under Phase-III has expanded to 87 km," a senior DMRC official said.
The corridor has 16 stations -- 14 underground, two elevated -- including one that caters to travellers moving in and out of the domestic terminal of the city airport (Terminal 1- IGI Airport station).
With the opening of this stretch, the entire Janakpuri West-Botanical Garden Magenta Line corridor, covering the city's arterial Outer Ring Road, has become operational.
Commuters travelling from Noida to Gurgaon can also bypass heavy Ring Road traffic in south Delhi and save time by at least 30 minutes.
"After the inauguration of this vital link, the approximate time to commute between HUDA City Centre (end of Yellow Line on Gurgaon side) and Botanical Garden (on Blue Line in Noida) stations will be about 50 minutes," the DMRC official said.
"Currently, a metro journey from HUDA City Centre to Botanical Garden takes about an hour and a half with the interchange at Rajiv Chowk station," he said.
The official also said that Shankar Vihar station on the Kalkaji Mandir-Janakpuri West corridor is "located right in the defence zone and thus will cater primarily to defence personnel".
According to the DMRC, 72 kms of network under the Phase-III network are yet to be opened, excluding the Noida-Greater Noida section. DMRC is assisting the Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) in the work on that line.
"Including the Noida-Greater Noida section, the span of the metro in the Delhi-NCR would touch nearly 380 km by December," the official said.
With the opening of new Magenta Line corridor, the total operational span of the DMRC network has reached to 277 km with 202 metro stations.
This section is also the longest stretch to have been opened so far in the DMRC's Phase-III project.
After the completion of the Magenta Line (length 37.46 km) the total number of interchange stations has now risen to 19, including Sikanderpur, with Rapid Metro.
The corridor will operate with 24 trains which will gradually increase to 26, apart from the operating reserves.
The frequency will be 5 minutes and 15 seconds during peak hours through the whole section and if passenger traffic demands shorter intermediate loops with higher frequency will be introduced after studying the traffic pattern, they said.
At 29 metres, the five-level new Hauz Khas station is the deepest metro station in the entire network and an engineering landmark as its tunnel goes beneath that of the existing station on Yellow Line.
Hauz Khas (with Yellow Line) and Janakpuri West (with Blue Line) stations are the interchange facilities on this corridor, besides the existing Kalkaji Mandir station (with Violet Line).