The Nagpur Metro’s unique section — with a metro train zipping through the fourth floor of a 20-storeyed commercial building, a first in India — became operational on Friday, running 1.6 kms between Sitabuldi-Zero Mile-Kasturchand Park.
The iconic corridor, incorporating unique architecture and design, has been constructed by the Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MahaMetro) and was inaugurated by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray along with Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari and Hardeep Singh Puri in the presence of top officials.
The 1.6 km corridor in the Zero Mile Freedom Park station and 20-floor tall commercial tower is part of the upcoming 19 km long north-south metro rail that will be ready by the year-end.
It is part of the total 38-km long Nagpur Metro with another 19 kms coming up in the east-west directions, with barely a handful of such metro train passing through commercial or residential structures in the world, said a MahaMetro official.
Flagging off the inaugural train along with Gadkari and Puri, Thackeray affirmed that development work would not be hindered anywhere in the state.
“While development should take place, we must ensure that there are no shortcomings in it. We shall do a good job in the 75th year of Indian Independence and it will last for another 75 years,” said Thackeray.
Gadkari urged the government to construct a tunnel to give access to the Zero Mile Freedom Park station from the Cotton Market to avoid road traffic hassles and promised all financial assistance for it.
Puri said that the project foundation stone was laid exactly 7 years ago on August 21, 2014 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and it is one of the fastest moving metros in the country.
He said that Nagpur Metro is a green metro with two-thirds of its energy needs met from solar power, it will recycle 100 percent water used by it, plus harvest rainwater, bio-digesters are provided at all stations, making it a clean and sustainable project.
Puri added that a traditional Rajput-style architecture has been used in designing the Kasturchand Park station including its facade, umbrellas, arcs, nets etc, making it a unique structure in the city.
Nagpur Guardian Minister and Congress leader Nitin Raut expressed confidence that the Nagpur Metro would prove a big boon in the infrastructure development of the state’s second capital.
Bharatiya Janata Party’s Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis said that the ‘Zero Mile’ has an immense historic significance with the Great Trigonometry Survey launched by the British here in 1907 from Zero Mile, Nagpur, the country’s geographical centre-point.
The new corridor links the Vidhan Bhavan, Reserve Bank of India, Central Museum, Sanvidhan Chowk and Morris College in Nagpur.
Simultaneously, the 40,000-square feet ‘Freedom Park’ flanking the Zero Mile Freedom Park station was also inaugurated to mark the 75th anniversary of Independence.
The Freedom Park has unique concepts like a Public Plaza and a long History Wall depicting major moments of the Indian Freedom Movement. An Indian Army’s battle-weary T-55 tank which saw action in war is displayed on a pedestal, plus an amphitheatre, adequate seating and moving spaces for the people of the city and tourists.