New Delhi: French President Francois Hollande and Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday laid the foundation stone for an interim secretariat of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), Gurgaon. However, what caught everyone’s attention was the “eco-friendly” metro ride that the two leaders took to Gurgaon and back. But this ‘special ride’ left commuters inconvenienced.
A special six-coach train was arranged for Modi and the French president in close coordination with security agencies, said an official statement from the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). Indian officials and the French delegation also accompanied the two leaders.
The leaders boarded the train from Race Course station shortly after 3 pm.
Forty-five minutes prior to this, the station’s gates were shut for other commuters. Sources said platforms at Race Course, Arjangarh, Guru Dronacharya and Jor Bagh Metro stations were also cordoned off when the delegation arrived.
“They boarded the train from Race Course station for Arjangarh at 3.16 pm. On their trip back, they got in at Guru Dronacharya and got off at Jor Bagh at 5.20 pm. Overall, train operations were normal throughout this movement,” said the statement.
A spokesperson said the DMRC did not issue any instructions to stop commuters, adding that it must have been a call taken by security personnel. An official said there was some disruption on the Yellow Line owing to the high-profile ride. “Due to security considerations and a directive from the Delhi Police, services had to be regulated for a brief period,” he said.
However, DMRC spokesperson Anuj Dayal said it was ensured that public services were not affected. “The special train was planned in such a manner that the VIPs did not have to wait at all and subsequent trains ran as per schedule.”