Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday inaugurated the Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus-Lajpat Nagar section of Delhi Metro's Pink Line, which links four major shopping centres in the city. The newly-inaugurated section has six stations. Sir Vishveshwaraiah Moti Bagh is an elevated metro station, whereas Bhikaji Kama Place, and INA, Sarojini Nagar, South Extension and Lajpat Nagar - all major market areas - are underground stations.
The six stations are platinum rated by Indian Green Building Council for adhering to environment-friendly building norms, DMRC officials said.
Puri, the Union minister of housing and urban affairs, said the inauguration of the newly-constructed eight-kilometre section was a moment of pride for people of Delhi.
Union minister Anant Kumar was present at the ceremony to inaugurate the metro section remotely from the Metro Bhawan.
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"The Phase-III has been completed in seven years, which is half the time it took for completion of Phase I and Phase II. The credit for this goes to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DRMC) and not to any political party," Puri said.
He praised Japan's cooperation and Japan International Cooperation Agency for developing metro rail network in India.
"I have been told that our metro rail network has crossed 500-km mark... Out of the 500 km, more than 300 km has been completed with the cooperation of Japan and JICA," he said, adding that work is underway on another 620 km network.
Chief Minister Kejriwal said the new line connecting four major market hubs will help in solving parking problems in the busy areas.
Japan's Ambassador to India Kenji Hiramatsu hoped his country's knowledge in the area of public transportation and urban development would meaningfully contribute to efficient planning of metro projects and environment-friendly urban spaces in India.
The 8.10-km-long Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus-Lajpat Nagar section has interchange facilities at INA (with Yellow Line) and Lajpat Nagar (Violet Line).
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This stretch is a part of the 59-km-long Majlis Park-Shiv Vihar Corridor (Pink Line), which falls under the Phase-III network of DMRC. The total operational network of Phase-III after opening of this section has increased to 106 km, DMRC said.
The first corridor of the Pink Line, from Majlis Park to South Campus was opened on March 14, connecting the north and south campuses of the Delhi University on the DMRC network.
A total of 23 trains will be put into service, with a frequency of 5 minutes and 12 seconds during peak hours and 5 minutes and 45 seconds during non-peak hours, the officials said.
DMRC managing director Mangu Singh also attended the inaugural ceremony.