Two stations on the 9.63-km-long Dilshad Garden-New Bus Adda section, an extension of the Delhi Metro's Red Line, have been renamed in honour of the country's fallen heroes, a DMRC official said on Friday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the entirely elevated section that marks the Delhi Metro's foray into the interiors of Ghaziabad for the first time.
"The Rajendra Nagar Metro Station has been rechristened as Major Mohit Sharma Rajendra Nagar station and the end station New Bus Adda has been renamed to Shaheed Sthal (New Bus Adda)," the official said.
The decision comes at a time when the nation is still mourning the death of 40 CRPF jawans, who were killed in a deadly terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district on February 14.
After flagging off the section, PM Modi also took a ride in a metro train from Shaheed Sthal (New Bus Adda) in Ghaziabad and on the way also interacted with commuters onboard. He took the ride till Kashmere Gate, a major interchange facility on the DMRC network, from where he deboarded, DMRC officials said.
After the opening of the section, the Delhi Metro network now spans 336.6 km with 244 metro stations. The DMRC's span in Uttar Pradesh is now 52.85 km. "It would also be the first time, when any station in the existing DMRC network in Uttar Pradesh, would carry the name of a martyr," the official said.
The six other stations on the Red Line extension stretch are Shaheed Nagar, Raj Bagh, Shyam Park, Mohan Nagar, Arthala and Hindon River Station. With this new section, the Delhi Metro will foray into the interiors of Ghaziabad for the first time, touching the industrial areas in twin cities of Ghaziabad and Sahibabad.
This would be the second metro corridor in Ghaziabad, after the Blue Line, which links Delhi to the neighbouring city, with stations at Kaushambi and Vaishali.
"Since the station falls in Uttar Pradesh, any renaming happens from their end only. We had received a communication from the state government after it had been approved by authorities," the DMRC official said. The Uttar Pradesh government had last month given its nod to change the name of two metro stations on the Dilshad Garden to New Bus Stand route.
Incidentally, till mid-February, there was no change in names of any station on this extension route of the Red Line, and the signage boards carried original names.
"The signage boards of Rajendra Nagar and New Bus Adda metro stations have been changed to Major Mohit Sharma Rajendra Nagar station and Shaheed Sthal (New Bus Adda) station, respectively," he added.
Ghaziabad District Magistrate Ritu Maheswari had late last month said that a request was sent to the state government by the district administration and the Ghaziabad Development Authority to change the name of the two metro stations after memoranda was received from Ghaziabad residents.
Major Mohit Sharma of 1 Para (Special Forces) was killed in a battle with terrorists in Hafruda forests of Jammu and Kashmir in March 2009. He was posthumously awarded Ashok Chakra, the country's highest peace time gallantry medal.
This section is an extension of the 25.09-km Rithala-Dilshad Garden corridor or Red Line, which has 21 stations. After opening, the entire Red Line has now become 34.72 km.