New Delhi: Inaugurating the Delhi Metro’s magenta line on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that connectivity is all important in the current era and Metro lines will serve not just the present, but also generations to come.

The prime minister also highlighted that the Metro network will help reduce petrol consumption. “By 2022, when we mark 75 years of freedom, I dream that we live in an India where petrol imports have reduced. In order to achieve it, state-of-the-art mass transit systems are the need of the hour," Modi said.

The PM said that for the National Democratic Alliance government, “decisions are about national interest and not political gains," adding that earlier governments took pride in making laws, “but our government wishes to remove obsolete laws. Good governance cannot happen when outdated laws hamper decision-making."

Modi referred to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as ‘Bharat Marg Vidhata’ who showed the way to development of the country. He pointed out that Vajpayee was the first person to ride in the Delhi Metro on 24 December 2002. Since then the Metro network in Delhi-NCR had just seen phenomenal growth, he added.

Modi also praised Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath for breaking the “Noida jinx". Former chief ministers have stayed away from Noida, fearing that they would lose the chief minister’s post if they visited the state’s urban hub. “If anybody thinks that not going to a place will prolong their CM tenure and visiting a place will curtail it, such a person does not deserve to be chief minister. Due to his dress, few people find it fashionable to believe Yogi Adityanath is not modern enough. But it is Adityanath who has done what CMs of UP did not do—he has come to Noida. Faith is important but blind faith is not desirable," said Modi in his address at the Amity University grounds.

The 12.3-km Magenta Line will connect Botanical Garden in Noida to Kalkaji Mandir Metro station in New Delhi with a riding time of just 20 minutes. The line is scheduled to be extended till Janakpuri in West Delhi by March 2018. The stretch will help connect Noida with Faridabad in Haryana through the Violet line (Escorts Mujesar-Kashmere Gate), which will intersect at Kalkaji Mandir station.

On Monday, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (DMRC) completed 15 years of operations, growing from a small network of 8.3km to one that is 231km long, covering 173 operational stations, which makes it the 9th largest Metro system in the world.

After the completion of phase 3, the Metro network in Delhi-NCR will be more than 375km long (including Noida-Greater Noida) and the 4th largest Metro system in the world, just behind Shanghai, Beijing and London.

Highlighting his government’s achievements during the last three years, the Modi said, “An extra 20 lakh tonnes of urea was produced without adding any new factories. Highways are being constructed at double the pace than that of the UPA government. Cargo handling is growing by 11%. Production of renewable energy (solar, hydro, wind, nuclear) has also doubled."

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