Delhi Metro Completes 16 Years: From 8 Km-Long Humble Beginnings  To Right Along Side Shanghai And BeijingDelhi Metro (Source:@AnujKatyal/Facebook)

The Delhi Metro, one of the world’s largest metro networks has completed 16 years since inauguration, reports India Today.

Inaugurated by the then Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, along with the then Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, it started with a mere 8-km-long Red Line connecting Shahdra and Tis Hazari.

Now ranked right alongside Shanghai and Beijing, and expected to overshadow the London Underground soon, the Delhi Metro ferries 26-27 lakh riders in 231 stations below and overground across the network.

The metro previously spread across 317 km of the city and its suburb, will expand to 349 kms with the completion of Phase-III, and cross 400 km by 2022 with the completion of the recently green-signalled Phase-IV.

The metro has eight colour-coded lines: Red, Yellow, Blue, Violet, Orange, Green, Magenta and Pink, with the last two being recent additions.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, said that this year was "historic" in terms of construction of several new stretches, with a total length of a "record" 87 km. But this expansion had to overcome its fair share of hurdles, from land acquisition (as in the case of Shakurbasti and Trilok Puri) to tunnelling around the monument strewn Old Delhi area.

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