In a first, a 12-year-old boy and his family threw a birthday party for his friends on board the Aqua Line of the Noida-Greater Noida Metro on Wednesday, according to the rail operator.
The Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) had in February 2020 announced offering the coaches of the Aqua Line for private celebrations on booking in a move aimed at generating non-fare box revenue.
However, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the metro rail services for passengers were disrupted twice in 2020 and 2021. The special service for booking coaches, like birthday celebrations or pre-wedding events, also could not materialize during the period, according to officials.
"On Wednesday, Supriya Roy, a resident of Sector 121, Noida, celebrated her son's 12th birthday on the wheels of the Noida Metro at Sector 51 metro station with great pomp and show. This is the start of celebration on the wheels of the Noida Metro. The celebration took place on the standing train at the station," NMRC Managing Director Ritu Maheshwari said.
On the occasion, the NMRC team also felicitated the kid, Shayam, with a bouquet with him being the first customer for a birthday celebration on the Aqua Line, the senior IAS officer said.
The NMRC said the unique initiative meant the metro, in addition to being a mode of travel, will also become an accessible, attractive and affordable destination for entertainment and celebrations that too at a very reasonable cost.
"Interested applicants can request for one or more coaches to the maximum of four coaches in a train. To initiate the booking, the interested applicants have to follow the simple process of submitting physical or online application to NMRC at least 15 days in advance which would be considered on 'First Come First Serve Basis'," it said.
Once the booking is confirmed by NMRC, the applicant would have to submit the license fee which will vary from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 per hour per metro coach excluding taxes depending on the category chosen like decorated or undecorated coach in a running metro or a static metro etc, it said.
The applicants would also be required to pay a refundable interest-free security deposit of Rs 20,000 in each case, the NMRC added.
The Aqua Line runs over 29.7 km through 21 stations between Noida Sector 51 and Depot Station in Greater Noida. It was built for Rs 5,503 crore and opened for public in January 2019. Currently it has an average daily ridership of over 16,000 passengers, according to NMRC officials.
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