Ankur Bhattacharya ; Kolkata, 14 February: Rajiv Roy,a 38 year old Medical Representative in a leading pharmaceutical company, became the ‘first passenger’ of Kolkata’s latest pride – East West Metro Railway- as its regular journey began here this morning after the formal inauguration of the first phase of the new service last evening by Railway minister Piyush Goyal.
Kolkata Metro Railway Chif Publuic Relations Manager Indrani Banerjee said the first train of East West Metro began its inaugural journey for general public from Salt Lake Sector Five station exactly at 8 a.m this morning with altogether 168 passengers who had bought their tickets standing in queues in front of the new ticket counters at the station.
‘It will remain a memorable day for me for the whole life’,said Rajiv after boarding the first train on way to travel to Salt Lake stadium station,only 5.3 km away in a 14 minute ride. As a gesture of goodwill all passengers in the first train were welcomed with a memento and a rose petal by the Metro Rail authorities, she said.
Since the day also coincided with Valentines day, the day of love, large number of young people also became the proud riders of the inaugural train and began their journey through a momentous occasion.
Among the passengers there were some people who also took a similar inaugural ride in the first underground train when it was introduced in Kolkata Metro Railway service 34 years ago in 1984 from Tollygunge in South Kolkata to Esplanade in Central part of the city, covering a distance of about 10 km.
‘Though this time the distance was only 5.3 km in the first phase, we fully enjoyed the wonderful ride’ they said while hailing the most modern facilities in terms of passengers safety in today’s train journey, Banerjee quoting them informed.
Initially only five pairs of rakes had been introduced to run in the first phase when the trains would stop in four others stations midway at Karunamoyee,Central Park, Salt Lake City Centre and at Bengal Chemiacal stations after starting the journey at Salt Lake Sector Five station and concluding at Salt Lake stadium from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day.