We are extremely happy that this project is nearing completion and a CMV has started plying on this track,” said Asha Sharma, general secretary of Resident Welfare Association Sector 37.
“I was surprised to see a single bogey train on the Metro track between Badarpur and Faridabad, I thought Metro service had begun,” said Vijay Kumar, adding, “I later came to know it was a maintenance vehicle.”
The Badarpur-Faridabad Metro service is likely to begin in June, though its earlier deadline was December 2014. The work on this project started on March 28, 2012, and now only some electric work is left to be completed. Engineers from Bangalore are setting up a communication network.
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) officials said that after the trial run, the commissioner of Metro rail safety has to give a no objection certificate, after which a date for commissioning of the project will be announced. "Running of CMVs on this track is not a trial run. The date for trail run is yet to be finalised," said a DMRC official.
Sources said the countdown for commissioning of Faridabad Metro has begun a few days ago when a display screen at the DMRC headquarter in Delhi started showing the deadline time. Last Sunday, the display screen showed 70 days left for operation of this Metro line. The DMRC staff, sources say, is working round the clock to meet this deadline.
The 13.8 km long Metro line from Badarpur to Faridabad’s YMCA chowk is elevated with nine stations named initially as Sarai Kwaja, NHPC Chowk, Mewla Maharajpur, Sector 27A, Badkal Mor, Old Faridabad, Ajronda, Faridabad New Town and YMCA Chowk.
The names of some of the Metro stations have been changed due to public demand. YMCA chowk station was later changed as YMCA Mujesar, whereas Ajronda station will be Ajrondha Neelam. Sector 27A Metro station is now Sector 28 and New Town Metro station has been changed into Bata Chowk.
Faridabad was lagging behind in terms of Metro connectivity with other NCR towns like Gurgaon and Noida. Delhi already enjoys the service, but people hailing from almost every section of the society were hoping for the project to start in Faridabad but due to political non-seriousness it took many years to take off.
Initially, the issue of alignment consumed much time for Badarpur-Faridabad to take off. The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and DMRC were on loggerheads on many issues. At one stage, NHAI claimed that DMRC had yet to receive permission from its headquarters for undertaking work on this line when the work had actually started. This charge was denied by DMRC. The MoU between Haryana Government and DMRC was signed on March 28, 2012, for Faridabad Metro link. The ceremony took place in presence of then Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Mangu Singh, DMRC chief, but the dispute between the two government agencies was far from over affecting progress of work on this line, which was later cleared and work on this project gained speed.
“The laying of track and coming up of Metro stations has generated a feeling of hope that Delhi and other NCR towns are getting closer to our township,” said Belu, a resident of Faridabad.
“We are happy that our efforts have paid off. We had met then Urban Development Minister Ajay Makan over five years ago with demand of Metro service to Faridabad which is now becoming reality,” said Ramneek Prabhakar, general secretary of Manufactures Association of Faridabad. “At that time, we were not expecting that the project will be sanctioned, funds will be released and the project will actually take off,” he said. “Now it’s a matter of pride for the residents of Faridabad, and that they are feeling at par with other NCR towns with regards to Metro connectivity.”
Many individuals, organisations and even government agencies have contributed in their own way in making this extension of Metro service to Faridabad possible. However, it was extended only up to up to YMCA chowk. As demand from residents of Ballabgarh grew louder work on Badarpur-YMCA line started, the state government decided to extend it up to Ballabgarh town. The work on this project has also started.