Jaipur: Rajasthan’s historic capital where once rajas and maharajas trundled and trotted on caparisoned horses and elephants will now travel on the modern icon of urban mobility – the sleek and fast-moving metro train.
Rajastan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on Wednesday inaugurated metro rail services in Jaipur. The pink city has now joined the league of India cities which includes Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata, having metro connectivity.
Completed nearly four-and-a-half-years, the Jaipur metro is touted as one of the fastest-built metros in the country. The 9.63-km elevated section of the Jaipur metro with nine stations and built on standard gauge connects the city’s residential area Mansarovar to business hub in Chandpole.
The line is expected to ferry approximately 1.2 lakh passengers daily. 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.
Normal operations will begin from 6.45 am and will continue till 9 pm. Fare for the 9.6km metro stretch will be in three slabs of Rs 5, Rs 10 and Rs 15.
Raje along with ministers, officers and supporters travelled in the train from Mansarovar to Chandpole and alighted at Civil Lines station while returning.
After the opening ceremony, the Jaipur Metro commenced its regular commercial operations from all its 9 stations – Mansarovar, New Aatish Market, Vivek Vihar, Shyam Nagar, Ram Nagar, Civil Lines, Railway Station, Sindhi Camp and Chandpole.
“After this, we will try to connect the next part of the project with it,” Raje told reporters at the Civil Lines station.
She visited Mansarovar station where Jaipur Metro CMD N C Goel briefed her about the functioning and operations.
People in buildings along the metro line were seen greeting and waving hands as the train undertook its first official journey.
Large number of locals were seen queuing up at the ticket counters to enjoy their first ride in the Jaipur metro.
As per the time table issued by the JMRC for first three months, trains will operate from Mansarovar to Chandpole and from Chandpole to Mansarovar at a frequency of 10 to 15 minutes from 6.45 AM to 9 PM every day.
They have been fixed in multiples of Rs 5 and a flat discount of Rs 5 has been offered for off-peak hours.
For the first six months, off-peak fares will be charged throughout the day. Automatic fare collection system has been installed to collect and manage the fare revenue.
To encourage people to travel in the metro, upto 15 per cent discount has been offered on smart cards, which can be recharged using Jaipur Metro website or ticket vending machines installed at all stations.
Two types of tourist cards, one-day tour card and three- day tour card, have been introduced, which can be used for unlimited number of trips during the day(s) of their validity, the JMRC said.
For effective execution of the project in its initial stages, the total work of Phase-1 was divided into two parts — Phase-1A and Phase-1B.
The phase 1A is from Mansarovar to Chandpole, opened on Wednesday, while work on phase 1B from Chandpole to Badi Chaupad is underway.
The project, which was initiated by the previous government and fully funded by the state government and its agencies, has commissioned in about 4 years and a quarter with estimated cost of Rs 2,023 crore (Rs 20.23 billion) and is one of the fastest project implementations in the metro sector, the JMRC said.
A double-decked elevated corridor, common for the metro and BRTS, is one of features of the civil structure of the Jaipur Metro.
All the metro stations are supported by a single row of piers to make the overall structure lighter and more open.
Of the nine stations, Chandpole is an underground station.
Thirty per cent of Jaipur Metro’s operation and maintenance staff, including train operators and station controllers, are women, the JMRC added.
Rajasthan police has been given the responsibility of the metro and 789 police personnel have been sanctioned for security.
Feeder services will be available to provide last mile connectivity to the passengers at all the nine stations.
Urban Development and Housing minister Rajpal Singh, Food minister Hem Singh, Industry minister Gajendra Singh, BJP state president Ashok Parnami, MLAs Ghanshyam Tiwari and Mohan Lal Gupta and other leaders were present at the inaugural ceremony.