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,” Mr. 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 no 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.
A month after producing their best-ever show in the Commonwealth Games, India underlined its rising sporting prowess by bagging the biggest madal haul in the Asian Games which concluded in Guangzhou on Saturday.India, who finished sixth on Friday with 14 gold, 17 silver and 33 bronze for a record 64-medal haul, maintained that position after the end of Saturday’s events.China ended on top with 199 gold, 119 silver and 98 bronze (total 416), followed by South Korea (76-65-91) and Japan (48-74-94) at second and third respectively.India’s best medal haul in the Asian Games till date was recorded in the 1982 Games in New Delhi when they had won 13 gold, 19 silver and 25 bronze for an overall tally of 57.India had finished 10th in the last edition of the Games in Doha with a tally of 10-17-26.The sixth spot on the medal rostrum by India is the best it has attained since 1986 at Seoul, where the country ended fifth with a more modest haul of 5-9-23.But a quarter century ago there was no Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and the rest of the former Soviet bloc to make the competition as stiff as it was here. In fact, Kazakhstan finished higher than India at fifth in Guangzhou.The 14 gold India won in Guangzhou is the second best after the inaugural edition in 1951 in New Delhi where the country finished second with 15 gold, 16 silver and 20 bronze for a total medal haul of 51. The 1951 Games was though contested by just 11 countries whereas the 16th edition here had seen 45 nations competing.advertisementIndia had also been improving in their medal haul in the last five Asian Games, having won 22 medals (4-3-15) in 1994 Hiroshima, 35 (7-11-17) in 1998 Bangkok, 35 (10-12-13) in 2002 Busan and 53 (10-17-26) fours years ago in Doha.The record medal tally of 64 in the Asian Games came a month after India won 101 medals (39-26-36) to finish second ahead of the likes of England and Canada in the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.Out of the 14 gold India won in Guangzhou, the highest number of five came from athletics and two each were won in boxing, kabbadi and tennis and one each from shooting, cue sports and rowing.Just like in many earlier editions of the Asian Games, athletics contributed the lions share in Indian’s number of gold medals in this addition also.AC Ashwini (400m hurdles and women’s 4×400 relay) and tennis star Somdev Devvarman (men’s singles and doubles) won two gold medals while Preeja Sreedharan bagged a gold and a silver — in women’s 10,000m and 5000m respectively.With inputs from PTI