New Delhi, July 8 Pratibha Patil took her maiden Metro ride here Sunday, becoming the first president to do so. She described the city’s lifeline as a proud symbol of the “tremendous progress” that India has made in the last decade.
The outgoing president, clad in purple sari, was accompanied by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) chief Mangu Singh and Sudhir Krishna, secretary of ministry of urban development, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Rashtrapati Bhavan officials.
“Delhi Metro is a proud symbol of the tremendous progress that India has made in the last decade. It is a comfortable, convenient and eco-friendly mass transport system, which is benefiting lakhs of people every day,” she wrote in the visitor’s book.
Patil boarded the Metro train at the Udyog Bhawan Metro station on the Jahangirpuri-HUDA City Centre corridor. She travelled up to the Sultanpur Metro station and then came back to Udyog Bhawan, a DMRC official said.
Starting her journey around 10.30 a.m., Patil used a paid smart card and travelled in a special six coach train during the 50-minute journey, the official added.
Delhi Police, DMRC and the Central Reserve Police Force had made security arrangements in a way that did not interrupt passenger travel, the official added.
Vice President Hamid Ansari had travelled by the Metro last year.This is the first time a president has taken the journey by the intra-city train system that ferries nearly 1.8 million people everyday.
During the course of her journey, DMRC officials said, Patil was keen to know about the management and technical functioning of the Metro.