It’s a long ride for many as commuters wait for hours to board a Metro
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It’s a long ride for many as commuters wait for hours to board a Metro

Only 25 passengers currently permitted to be inside coaches at a time

It’s a long ride for many as commuters wait for hours to board a Metro

New Delhi: Long queues of commuters are being seen at the Blue line and the Yellow line Metro stations in the national capital every day.

The long queues are due to the regulated entry of passengers, as permitted, only through a few identified gates of the Metro stations, in the wake of the prevailing Covid-19 situation.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) services were fully suspended since May 10 in view of the Covid-induced lockdown in Delhi. It was first imposed on April 19 and successively extended by the city government.
Metro services initially ran partially, catering only to people from the field of essential services, but from May 10, it was suspended because of the rising cases amid the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. The Delhi Metro had then resumed services on June 7 after a hiatus of four weeks.

Due to the reduced capacity inside coaches, only 25 passengers are currently permitted to be inside coaches at any given point.

Since then, they are reports of several changes in the travel experience, especially long queues outside the station and stricter scrutiny to ensure social distancing.

With the growing queues outside some of the stations, several commuters have also taken to social media to complain about the increased waiting period before being able to enter the Metro stations.







Nitin Dhayal, who works in central Delhi and travels from Dwarka Mor Metro station, said the waiting time for Metro was not more than 10 minutes, but this time, he said, waiting in a long queue for 20-25 minutes is tough.

Nikita Sharma, a student travelling from Dwarka Sector-21, said the frequency of trains has gone down “drastically”.  Earlier, even after reopening in September after the first nationwide lockdown, the waiting time for trains was just 6- 10 minutes, but this time, she said, waiting time was between 15-20 minutes.

“Since there aren’t many passengers who board from this station, there are no queues at the station gates but the frequency of trains has really gone down,” she said.

At heavily crowded stations, especially those that have interchange facilities such as Rajiv Chowk, Kashmere Gate, and Central Secretariat, commuters have also been facing long queues to enter the station. Serpentine queues were seen outside the gates of Rajiv Chowk, which is among the busiest stations in the network.

However, despite the queue, commuters are seen following the social distancing norms. Security personnel also ensure that there was no crowding, and all passengers entering the station premise were sanitised.

“It is taking longer; first the wait at the gates, and then at the security checks. You also have to wait longer at the platform for trains, but the Metro authorities are ensuring that the system is safe. Especially after the second wave, everyone is worried for their safety and at every step, caution is being maintained,” said Samaksh Namdev, a commuter travelling from Rajiv Chowk to Faridabad.

“Apart from these regular inspections, we also make routine announcements inside stations and in trains reminding people to follow Covid appropriate protocol,” a senior Metro official said.

The DMRC further added, “However, it may be appreciated that these measures are being taken to regulate and control the flow of passengers for their safe travel. We expect the situation to improve as more relaxations are allowed by the authorities in the days to come.”