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Did PM Modi Say Vajpayee Started the First Metro in the Country?

Several social media users claimed that the first Metro in India was started with the efforts of Vajpayee.

Published
WebQoof
4 min read
Image used for representational purposes.
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On Monday, 28 December, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s first driverless train operations on the Delhi Metro's Magenta Line. Soon after, a quote attributed to PM Modi, crediting former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee for inaugurating India’s first Metro train, went viral on social media.

WHAT’S THE CLAIM?

Several social media users claimed that the first Metro in India was started with the efforts of Vajpayee.

Attributing the information to PM Modi, they wrote: “First metro in the country was started with the efforts of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. When BJP govt was formed in 2014, only 5 cities had metro services & today 18 cities have metro rail service. By 2025, BJP govt will take Metro service to more than 25 cities.”

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An archived version of the tweet can be accessed <a href="https://archive.st/hcix">here</a>.
An archived version of the tweet can be accessed here.
(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)
An archived version of the tweet can be accessed <a href="https://archive.st/iclp">here</a>.
An archived version of the tweet can be accessed here.
(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)
An archived version of the post can be accessed <a href="https://archive.st/ktru">here</a>.
An archived version of the post can be accessed here.
(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)
An archived version of the post can be accessed <a href="https://archive.st/svyk">here</a>.
An archived version of the post can be accessed here.
(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

WHAT DID MODI SAY?

While inaugurating the driverless train via video conferencing Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “The construction of metro in Delhi was discussed and delayed for decades. But, the first metro ran only with the efforts of Atal Ji.”

This can be heard at 16.15 minutes counter in this video.

“The construction of metro in Delhi was discussed and delayed for decades. But, the first metro ran only with the efforts of Atal Ji. When our government was formed in 2014, only 5 cities had metro services and today, 18 cities have metro rail service. By 2025, we will take this service to more than 25 cities.”
Narendra Modi, Prime Minister

The speech was live streamed on the YouTube channels of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Clearly, Modi was referring to the Delhi metro while social media users misquoted the prime minister to claim that Vajpayee was the force behind India’s first Metro train.

News agency ANI also goofed up and issued a correction later.

An archived version of the tweet can be accessed <a href="https://archive.st/kxf0">here</a>.
An archived version of the tweet can be accessed here.
(Source: ANI/Screenshot)
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WHEN WAS INDIA’S FIRST METRO STARTED?

India’s first planned and operational Metro rail service was the Kolkata Metro. According to the information on the website of Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC), the project was on hold for two decades before it was finally initiated in 1969. The work on Kolkata Metro finally started in December 1972.

It was in the year 1984 that the first stretch between Esplanade and Bhowanipur was completed.

Did PM Modi Say Vajpayee Started the First Metro in the Country?
(Source: KMRC/Screenshot)

According to a report by The Telegraph, then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had laid the foundation for the project in 1972.

Did PM Modi Say Vajpayee Started the First Metro in the Country?
(Source: The Telegraph/Screenshot)

THE DELHI METRO & VAJPAYEE’S CONTRIBUTION

While the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) was established in 1995, with E Sreedharan being appointed as the managing director of the venture, it was only in 1998 that the work on Delhi Metro started.

And, it was in 2002 (when Vajpayee was India’s prime minister) that the Shahdara-Tis Hazari of the Red Line began passenger services. This line was inaugurated by Vajpayee on 24 December 2002.

Did PM Modi Say Vajpayee Started the First Metro in the Country?
(Source: Hindustan Times/Screenshot)

Another report by Hindustan Times quotes former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit as saying that Vajpayee put the Delhi Metro project, which had been stalled for years, on fast track after he became the PM.

(With inputs from The Telegraph, The Hindu, Hindustan Times)

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