The 20km-long Metro 2A and 7 corridor (Dahanukarwadi-Aarey-Dahisar) was thrown open to commuters on April 2 to coincide with Gudi Padwa festival which marks the beginning of Maharashtrian New year. More than 20,000 passengers took the Metro even though operations were for a limited period in the evening. The inaugural run was flagged off by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar at Aarey metro station in Goregaon at 4.45 pm.
This is the second stretch of the Metro corridor to be opened after a gap of eight years since the commissioning of 12 km Metro I line (Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar) in 2014. Mumbai now has cumulative metro network of 32 km Both, Thackeray and Pawar were the first commuters who boarded the train with environment minister Aaditya Thackeray, Urban development minister Eknath Shinde, MMRDA commissioner SVR Srinivas and others. They took a ride in the inaugural run for 1km from Aarey Metro station to Kurar and back.
Uddhav Thackeray said, “I have travelled by tram and local trains. Metro will soon become the lifeline of Mumbai. ” Pawar said, “I appeal to Mumbaikars to keep the metro system clean. ” The first phase spanning 20km is between Dahanukarwadi of Line 2A and Aarey of Line 7.
For the public, services began around 7.45pm, with MMRDA allowing a free ride. The last service for the day was at 8.50 pm, leaving many, who had come to station, disappointed.
There was festive atmosphere mixed with excitement as passengers with friends and family took the metro in large numbers when they were allowed to board. Passengers were taking selfies and recording videos of interiors and the skyline from inside the trains.
From Sunday, a total of 150 services will run and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, which executed the project, expects 3 lakh commuters to use this network.