Exploring the short Anand Vihar section of Delhi Metro's Blue Line in east Delhi highlights two interesting points that are commonly noted about the metro system in general: 1) The connection between the metro system and increased commercialization of place, and 2) that the metro is changing people's understanding of distances between locations in the city. More on both points follow.
The same photos are also on flickr.
This is the interchange station between the Noida and Anand Vihar sections of the blue line. Situated on the floodplain of the river Yamuna, it's a bit isolated and distant from the closest formal habitation. Embankments protects the station (and it's adjoining metro depot) from the river when in spate.
Yamuna Bank station to the left and the intersection of Vikas Marg and Link Road to the right
Trains from both Noida and Anand Vihar lines approaching the station
Blue line and Link Road heading towards Noida
Approaching Lakshmi Nagar station
Foot-over-bridges connecting the station to different sides of the road intersection
Station and road intersection
Station and surroundings
Approaching Nirman Vihar station
Nirman Vihar station with the Lakshmi Nagar Commercial Complex and V3S Mall adjoining
This is the station/area that made me realize how conceptions of distance are changing because of the metro. I've only driven by the Lakshmi Nagar Commerial Complex a few times, and that too not for many years now, but to me it seemed really far and a long drive away. With the metro, it's now just a few stops away from the heart of Delhi, and with the expanding system over the years will become easily accessible from all parts of the city.
Similarly, with the opening of the Gurgaon metro line, a trip to/from Gurgaon already seems like a much less daunting task. Access to different parts of the city will, both conceptually and literally, become much easier, and just as in cities like London and New York, any particular location will be just a metro ride away.
Preet Vihar station and adjoining commercial complex
Formerly residential area around the station turning commercial
From these photographs, the nexus between commercialization of neighborhoods and the metro is quite evident. Metro stations were from the beginning planned close to commercial areas, and the areas around many stations are becoming increasingly commercialized, whether they were so before or not. At this Preet Vihar station, buildings that were clearly residential are changing in their nature, and new construction is also much more commercial.
The story through much of Delhi is the same, and the expectation is that the areas around metro stations will become hubs of commercial activity, with residential areas a little distance away. Increased commercialization of the locations around metro stations has always been one of the strategies for revenue generation by the metro, and it seems to be succeeding. This will likely be one of the main ways that metro will alter the built landscape of Delhi in the short to medium term.
This terminal (for now) metro station interchanges with the Anand Vihar ISBT (Inter State Bus Terminal) and Indian Railways station.
Anand Vihar metro station ...
... close to the ISBT
... as well as the railway station