The much-awaited metro rail linking the twin-cities of Noida and Greater Noida in Gautam Buddh Nagar was opened for the public on Friday by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
The rail corridor, also known as the Aqua Line, would run between Sector 71 station in Noida and the Depot Station in Greater Noida. There are a total of 21 stations on the corridor - 15 of them in Noida and six in Greater Noida -- spread over a distance of 29.7-km.
"Today we dedicate the Noida Greater Noida metro rail to the people of the region. The Aqua Line, which has been completed in record time, will provide better connectivity to the region and prove to a milestone in development of the region," Adityanath said.
The final and mandatory safety inspection of the corridor was done in December 2018 by the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) which gave its approval to the Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) for launching commercial operations.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), which operates the Delhi Metro, will assist the NMRC over the next one year in operating the Aqua Line.
The Aqua line, which will have 19 rakes with four cars each, will halt on the Sector 76, 101, 81, NSEZ, Noida Sector 83, 137, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, and Greater Noida's Knowledge Park II, Pari Chowk, Alpha 1, Delta 1, GNIDA Office and Depot metro stations.
However, a major concern among the people has been that the interchange stations of the DMRC-operated Blue Line and the NMRC's Aqua Line are not seamless.
Commuters will have to get down at the Sector 52 metro station of the Blue Line, which will further get extended to the Noida Electronic City station, and reach the Noida Sector 51 station of the Aqua Line, covering a stretch of around 300 metres.
Earlier, the NMRC had said a skywalk or a foot-over bridge to directly link the two stations was under consideration but there have been talks about it lately.
The NMRC had in December 2018 announced fares for the Aqua Line, with the minimum being Rs 9 and the maximum Rs 50. Commuters can buy QR-coded paper tickets or use the smart cards to get 10 per cent discount on fares, the officials said.
The 49th battalion of the UP PAC has been entrusted with the responsibility of security on the Aqua Line, while some private security personnel will also be deployed.
"The security personnel are being trained by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which guards the Delhi Metro," the NMRC had said.
The trains are designed to run at a maximum speed of 80 kmph, clocking an average speed of 37.5 kmph. Seat reservation through different colours has been done in the coaches for ladies, senior citizens and differently-abled persons.
A dedicated space has been provided for wheelchair in driving trailer cars at both the ends of the trains, according to officials.
The Aqua Line, whose construction started in May 2015 and was completed in record time, was initially expected to be opened for public in November 2018, then December.