Jaipur: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday inaugurated the underground Jaipur metro, first-of-its-kind in the desert state.
Through videoconferencing, Mr Gehlot flagged off the metro, which ran on a 12-km-long Chandpole -Badi Chaupar stretch.
The Chief Minister said it was very challenging to construct an underground track on the stretch as several historical, religious and cultural sites were present in the area and thanked Delhi Metro Railway Corporation (DMRC) in helping to pierce the tunnel through the zone without affecting the structures.
The foundation stone of Jaipur Metro was laid by former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in September 2013. Mr Gehlot said the construction got delayed for almost four years due to change of the government in the state.
To the critics, Mr Gehlot explained when the railways was first introduced in the pink city, people raised eyebrows over the expenditure. Now, the same railway is a profit-making enterprise, he stated.
The Chief Minister said soon work will start on the 22-km-long Sitapura-Ambabar track. He further said, like Jaipur, second largest district Jodhpur can too have a metro, but much depends upon the support by the Central Government.
On the occasion, Urban Development Minister Shanti Dhariwal alleged that Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government slowed down the metro work. He claimed that the fare of Jaipur Metro is the lowest in the country.