The newly-launched Heritage line of the Delhi metro would not only be a blessing for people commuting daily to Old Delhi, but would also provide a hassle-free means of transport for small vendors and tourists. The ‘Walled City’ of Shahjahanabad would now be connected to the metro network through the Violet line. Shahjahanabad, with the Red Fort as its crowning glory, was founded by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the mid 17th century.
Vendors who buy things from its wholesale markets would now be connected to the metro network through the Violet line. It would not only make the transport of goods easier, but also reduce the cost of transportation.
The residents of this densely-populated area will have a direct access to commercial centres such as Connaught Place, Janpath, offices in Central Secretariat, and the satellite town of Faridabad.
This metro line would also provide respite to commuters as the roads in the old markets here strain under heavy traffic during the daytime.
Shahjahanabad is also a spiritual landscape and it reflects every major faith of India. On one hand it has Jama Masjid, Fatehpuri Masjid, and Sunehri Masjid and on other it also has Shivalayas of the Katra Neel. It is also homes St Stephens Church and Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib apart from Digambar Jain Lal Mandir.
The Jama Masjid station of the heritage line will connect metro commuters to one of the largest mosques in India and two of its gates would also open to wholesale markets of Meena Bazaar and Daryaganj.
“I used to travel by bus to reach to the book market in Daryaganj, but the new metro line will help me in reaching there in a convenient manner,” said Ramesh Yadav, a book-seller from Connaught Place. The metro line will be a boon for bibliophiles as it will provide an easy mode of commute to the market.
“I love books and never miss a chance to go for the Sunday book market in Daryaganj along with my friends. Reaching here by roads is painful, and the metro will be of great help,” said Awantika who is pursuing her graduation from a college in Delhi.
It also connects Meena Bazaar in the old city which evokes a medieval charm and elegance but it is difficult to reach by road due to traffic. The new line is just a few meters away from the market which would help small-time vendors.
This line also connects to Asia’s largest wholesale spice market, Khari Baoli. It has been operating since the 17th century and sells all kinds of spices, nuts, herbs and other food products.
The area between Delhi Gate and Kashmere Gate is the heritage region that gives the line its name. The new line is expected to boost tourism in this area.
The line connects Delhi Gate, Jama Masjid and Red Fort, Sunehri Masjids, the Jain Temple, Gurudwara Sheesh Ganj Sahib, the Fatehpuri mosque, the Akbarabadi Masjid and many other important tourist destinations.
All the four stations – Delhi Gate, Jama Masjid, Red Fort and Kashmere Gate – have been decorated with panels and artworks depicting the glory of the bygone era and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation(DMRC) had tied up with the art and culture body INTACH for artworks at the stations, said DMRC chief spokesman Anuj Dayal.
“I have been in Delhi for more than a decade, but I never tried going to the old part of the city. Traffic and parking issue is among the top reason for this. But I am hoping that this new line will help me and my family to see that part of the city as well,” said Mohan, who works in Delhi.
This new line also makes Kashmere Gate the first and the biggest station of Delhi metro to have three interchanges -yellow, red and violet. This line would help in de-congesting not only Rajeev Chowk, but also reducing the traffic in the old Delhi area.
The metro line will help in decongestion as there would be five interchanges in this line–Kashmere Gate, Mandi House, Central Secretariat, Kalka ji and Lajpat Nagar.