Jaipur Metro to start operations today

Jaipur Metro, touted as one of the fastest-built metro systems, to be thrown open to public today. CM Vasundhara Raje will flag off the metro service at 11am and the service will be thrown open to the public from 2pm onwards

Jaipur (JP): From Wednesday, Jaipur will find itself in the map of the cities with Metro services. Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje will flag off the metro service at 11am and the service will be thrown open to the public from 2pm onwards.

The 9.63-km elevated section of the metro with nine stations and built on standard guage connects the city’s residential area Mansarovar to business hub in Chandpole. Despite missing the deadlines repeatedly, it is touted as one of the fastest-built metros in the country in a record time of nearly four-and-a-half-years.

According to projected estimates, the line will ferry approximately 1.2 lakh passengers daily. But to begin with, the Jaipur Metro Rail Corporation is hoping to get at least 30,000 passengers per day. A total of 10 four-coach trains will be making 131 trips each day between the two terminal stations at a frequency of 10 minutes in peak hours and 15 minutes in off-peak hours.

The operations will begin from 6.45am and will continue till 9 pm with fewer train trips (115) on Sundays. Fare for the 9-km stretch will be in three slabs of Rs.5, Rs.10 and Rs.15. Work on the 2.3-km underground stretch is currently in full swing. Once completed, the metro will reach Badi Chaupar, right outside the popular Hawa Mahal in the walled city.

Right from the beginning of her second term in office, Chief Minister Raje had disapproved of the implementation of the metro project, a brainchild of former chief minister Ashok Gehlot. The 12-km east-west Metro corridor was one of Gehlot’s big ticket projects that he had expected to flag off by the end of his tenure.

25 per cent operators are women – ready to steer the pink city’s urban commute dream

Kusum Kanwar’s father never allowed her to ride a bike as a kid. “When I was in school, I used to ask my father if I could ride his scooter and he always refused. Then, when I grew up I asked my brother to teach me how to ride a bike, but he also said no,” says Kusum. Years later, Kusum finds herself behind the wheel, so to speak, of Rajasthan’s most sophisticated mode of urban transport — the Jaipur Metro.

She is one of the six women operators (from a total 24) in the Jaipur Metro — the sixth metro project of the country.

With the public launch of Jaipur Metro on Wednesday, these women are ready to steer the pink city’s urban commute dream.

“I have always heard people say women can’t drive. By operating the metro, I wanted to shatter that image. That was the moving force behind me applying for the job,” says Monika Mittal, who operated the Metro’s pre-run for the media on Tuesday. For Meena Soni, the youngest of the six, the job of a Metro operator offers an exciting adventure. The first part of the Metro’s Phase-1 will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on Wednesday. The Jaipur Metro project, which began under the previous Congress regime in 2010, is funded entirely by the Rajasthan government.

“Women make up 30 per cent of our staff. Women are doing everything here, from controlling stations to running trains. Jaipur Metro represents a bold step in terms of women’s empowerment,” Jaipur Metro Rail Corporation CMD N C Goel told. However, unlike its Delhi counterpart, Jaipur Metro does not have any “pink” coaches. “Since we only had four coaches, we could not demarcate women-only coaches. But we do have reserved seating for women,” says C S Jeengar, Director (Operations and Systems Management).