MUMBAI (Metro Rail & Steel): Navi Mumbai Metro finally commenced its inaugural journey today, marking a significant leap in the city’s public transportation system. After years of anticipation, the first train of the Navi Mumbai Metro Line 1 embarked on its maiden voyage from Belapur to Pendhar, drawing massive crowds eager to witness this historic moment.
Amidst much fanfare and colorful decorations adorning the air-conditioned coaches, commuters flocked to stations, eagerly queuing up to purchase tickets and board the trains operating till 10 p.m. tonight. The lively ambiance was complemented by banners extending a warm welcome to the enthusiastic passengers.
The swift launch of the Navi Mumbai Metro came on the heels of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s directive to CIDCO (City and Industrial Development Corporation) to initiate operations immediately, disregarding the formal inauguration. The move aimed at offering seamless and prompt service to the public, a sentiment echoed by the beaming passengers delighted to experience the much-needed public transit service.
Originally speculated to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi later this month, the early commencement of the Metro received accolades from the locals. Criticism had surfaced earlier from Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aditya Thackeray, questioning the delay despite the system’s readiness for several months.
Operational from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. today, the Belapur-Pendhar line spans 11.10 km and comprises 11 stations, including a Metro depot at Taloja Panchanand. Starting tomorrow, regular services will operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. with a frequency of every 15 minutes, with plans for potential frequency enhancements in the future, according to an official statement. Ticket prices for the air-conditioned coaches range from Rs 10 to Rs 40, based on the travel distance, offering commuters a comfortable and secure journey with modern amenities and safety measures in place.
Chief Minister Shinde emphasized the Metro’s role in enhancing connectivity within Navi Mumbai and highlighted plans for an expansive Metro network across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. CIDCO’s Vice-Chairman and Managing Director Anil Diggikar expressed confidence in providing better connectivity to rapidly developing areas like Kharghar and Taloja, strengthening Navi Mumbai’s transport infrastructure.