Testing of the Pink Line of Delhi Metro is underway. This is the line that runs alongside Inner Ring Road. The testing has been going on for some time now. The line is to be opened up in sections. Its opening dates have been postponed a few times. The barricades on the road to cordon off the construction areas are disappearing slowly. Traffic is moving quicker than the crawl it had slowed down to in the last few months. Very soon Metro services will commence on this line. With that a host of secondary economic activities will shoot up. E-rickshaws will queue up outside the Metro stations. Autos will hang around to pick up fares. Radio Taxis will stop to drop off passengers and wait to pick up fares.
What are the food options at Metro stations?
Typically, there is a quick counter providing powdered tea and coffee as well as flavoured milk, patties and packaged namkeen.
Street food vendors provide lip smacking peanuts, bhelpuri, dal pakoda, bhutta, aloo ki tikki and many other quick bites. The sound decibel level under the station is much higher because of the broad walkway about the road.
There is a lot of eagerness mixed with impatience for this line to commence operations. The stations where the lines cross will be very interesting. Usually there are throngs of people crisscrossing and bumping into each other at such stations.
I wonder where the parking lots for the Metro stations on Ring road are located. The last mile connectivity is provided by DMRC buses. I think those are on contract. The real last mile connectivity into the interiors of the colonies is, of course, provided by the e-rickshaws.
I could take a photo of the Pink Line Metro being tested. The photo was taken from a moving car is a not sharp. DMRC uses pink coloured signage to designate the Women’s coach in each train. Though the Pink Line will surely be open to all genders (just like the other Metro lines)
The Pink Line of Delhi Metro connects to the Blue, Green Red, Violet and Yellow lines of the Delhi Metro
The chilly wind in January had failed to keep the city at home. The windy platform was crowded. The Delhi Metro train crept into the station accompanied by warnings over the PA system advising commuters on the patform to step back behind the yellow line. I took a step back, clutched my bag tightly and prepared to push through the crowd into a coach. Delhi Metro fares are reasonable so it is crowded. I managed to squeezed myself into half my body’s volume. The smell of sweat wafted from someone’s armpit against my face. The fourteen year old boy behind me played music on his cellphone’s speakers. The PA system requested people not to play music, announced the names of the stations and informed the passengers that doors would open to the left. I plugged in my ear pieces and turned on the music in my cellphone. Surprising how the same 12 notes played different tunes in the ears and minds of the many passengers in the metro. The music drowned under the din of the announcements, the noise of the metro and the gibberish of the crowd. A girl read the latest Chetan Bhagat novel. I caught a few lines over her shoulder. A couple with a baby and 3 bags stood in a corner waiting for Rajeev Chowk. I guessed they would change the metro there for the New Delhi station. Must have a train to catch. The baby howled because of the crowd and the closed environment. The father and the mother tried to pacify her. A lady with a bundle sat cross-legged in the vestibule between two coaches. At one station the doors refused to close. The train stood at the station for a few minutes. The guard ran frantically back and forth to ensure no one obstructed the doors of any coach. Finally the doors shut and the train moved. I stared out the big windows of the coach. I got a new perspective of the city. The privacy of the big bungalows had been invaded. Their once private life was now rendred public because of the high vantage point the metro provided. I could see the posh colonies merging into the slums. The city seemed to have been invaded by construction equipment. Construction of flyovers, metro lines and facilities for the Commonwealth Games 2010 all seemed to be happening at the same time. The cranes moved across the roads and the cars would zip by under their hooks. Dust hung heavy at many places. The Ramakrishan Mission Ashram station’s platform looked like the waiting lounge of an airport with many foreigners waiting for the next train. In the distance Old Delhi was visible. As I walked through the turnstile at my station I wondered if I would emerge like Superman did everytime he walked through revolving doors!! Maybe someday a metro token would cover that change in the personality too.