Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday flagged off the much-awaited Heritage Line of the Delhi Metro through video-conferencing at the Metro Bhavan here.

An extension of the Violet Line (ITO-Escort Mujeser), the 5.17-km heritage corridor comprises four stations — Delhi Gate, Jama Masjid, Lal Qila, and Kashmere Gate. 

“I want to congratulate the people of Delhi that they are getting the Heritage Line that passes near several historical monuments. It is a day of happiness for the people of Delhi,” Kejriwal said.

He also praised Delhi Metro officials for completing the task despite hurdles.

“The area from where this heritage track passes is very congested and several historical monuments are situated along the route. Engineers and other staff of Delhi Metro have done a great job,” Kejriwal said.

Union Science Minister Harsh Vardhan was also present on the occasion.

According to Delhi Metro officials, the stretch was thrown open to the public two hours after its inauguration.

Beset by delays, the stretch missed a number of deadlines, and was expected to open to the public last year.

Metro officials attributed the delays to difficulties during construction on vulnerable stretches.

Procurement of land and exodus of labour immediately after demonetisation were also cited as issues that slowed the pace of the Heritage Line construction.

Janpath, Mandi House and ITO stations on this line are already in operation.