Delhi Metro’s network just got bigger on Friday with the inauguration of Inderlok—Mundka corridor, the country’s first standard gauge line, which will traverse through some of the densely populated areas of the national capital.

The 15.1 km corridor, also known as the ‘Green Line’ which will benefit over a lakh commuters in the city’s west and north-west areas, was declared open by Union Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

They flagged-off a brand new Standard Gauge metro train at the Inderlok metro station and travelled on it till Paschim Vihar station. The line, which will be the fifth of the Delhi Metro’s vast expanding network, will be opened for the public from 6 am tomorrow.

This will be the first standard gauge metro line in the country. DMRC’s other lines are broad gauge. This makes the Delhi Metro probably the only Metro in the world which will operate on both standard gauge and broad gauge in the same city.

Mr. Reddy said it was a “historic occasion” and this was the first such kind of a corridor in the country. “It is a milestone,” he said noting standard gauge will be used in the upcoming Metro projects in Chennai, Mumbai and Hyderabad.

“By adopting standard gauge, we can save money and DMRC has told me that Rs. 72 crore by adopting this system,” he said.

Ms. Dikshit said, “it is very good to open this line today. I commend the whole team led by DMRC chief E. Sreedharan.”

The corridor, also called the Green Line, will connect two existing stations - Inderlok (on Line 1 Dilshad Garden-Rithala line) and Kirti Nagar (on Line 3 Dwarka Sec 9-Noida City Centre/Anand Vihar line).

Passengers will be able to interchange for Line 1 from the same platform at the Inderlok station. A small section of the line from Ashok Park-Kirti Nagar is expected to be opened only by next month. Thus, initially the line will be only connected with Line 1.

The travel time between Inderlok to Mundka will be 29 minutes on the Metro as compared to more than an hour by road and the line will benefit thousands of people in thickly- populated areas like Punjabi Bagh and Paschim Vihar.

The DMRC has procured 17 standard gauge trains from a consortium of Mitsubishi and Bharat Earth Movers Limited, Bangalore and will initially put 13 on the service. During peak hours, the frequency would be 5 minutes.

DMRC projects that at least 2.5 lakh commuters would be added to Metro’s expanding network in the capital by the end of 2010 with the opening of the Mundka-Inderlok line.

With the opening of the new line, the Delhi Metro network is now spread over 110 km with 97 stations. When the all the lines under Phase-II are completed in September 2010, the metro would be spread across 190 km virtually connecting all corners of the National Capital Region.

Other lines will be opened before the Games are Central Secretariat-Badarpur, Central Secretariat-Gurgaon and New Delhi-Airport Express Line.

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