New Delhi: Ever since the volume of commuters rose, the metro stations have slowed the entry of passengers especially during the peak hours. Sometimes, they also close the entry which leads to long queues outside the stations. This is hassling the commuters as they have to wait for long before boarding the trains.
This has become a hot topic of discussion in the city. Even though the Covid-19 induced restrictions have been relaxed, people using public transport are still facing problems while commuting.
The offices opened as soon as the process of unlock was initiated in the national capital. It forced people to commute to their offices. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) also started operating trains with new protocols. The DMRC said that they will be operating with 50 per cent seating capacity.
However, the DMRC may have slowed or sometimes restricted the entry, but it has led to violation of social distancing norms outside the stations as people can be seen standing close to each other for long.
Entry of passengers at some stations like Pul Bangash, Pratap Nagar, Kashmere Gate, Chandani Chowk, Patel Nagar and Sikanderpur, was stopped on Thursday evening (June 17). Barakhamba Road, Mandi House, Anand Vihar and Vaishali Metro stations also witnessed long queues.
The crowd has also increased after the further relaxations on Monday, this week. The waiting time for the metro trains in peak hours increased from 20-25 minutes to 40-45 minutes.
CitySpidey spoke to some of the commuters of Dwarka, Barakhamba Road, Faridabad, Akshardham and Sikanderpur to get hold of the situation.
Anand, who commutes from Akshardham station, said, “Have you seen the conditions of Akshardham metro. There are such long queues. People have to stand in scorching heat under the sun and inside it’s all empty mostly. Just for the sake of convenience of self, public inconvenience is caused.”
Anish, who boards the train at Sector 10 in Dwarka, said, “Long queues can also be seen at Sector 10 metro station where volume of commuters is relatively less. The administration often keeps the gate closed for 45 minutes to 1 hour but the trains keep running with empty passenger. It doesn’t make any sense. The DMRC officials should look into the matter.”
Rahul, a commuter from Sikanderpur said, “There were long queues at IFFCO and Sikanderpur metro stations and because of which I had to board the metro at Dronacharya. There, I saw the train being almost empty, not even utilising its 50 per cent seating capacity. People are made to wait for hours in heat, even at 8:30 am in the morning.”
Harsh Vardhan, a commuter from Patel Chowk area, said, “What kind of social distancing are we following here. Looks like corona can spread only inside the metro station but won’t spread in long queues outside.”
Meenu, who take train from from Rajiv Chowk, said, “We are suffering a lot due to the situation at metro stations. It is essential for us to commute to our offices and amid all this, the situation at the metro stations makes it difficult for us. It should be addressed.”
Sarika, a commuter from GTB Nagar, said, “A horrible situation was there at GTB Nagar. Long queue was there and main gate got closed for more than 30 minutes. They should increase the frequency of metro.”
Akshaj, who take train from Barakhamba Road, said, “The whole purpose of maintaining social distancing and covid appropriate behaviour is going for a toss outside stations.”
On Thursday evening, Anuj Dayal, Executive Director, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said, “These days, long queues are frequently observed outside metro stations as the entry is regulated due to restrictions on the number of passengers allowed inside a train. At present, commuters can only sit on alternating seats with no standing passenger, limiting the carrying capacity of metros to 10-15%, even as DMRC runs maximum number of trains. The long queues are caused as only single entry points are permitted at most stations. This is because in a mass transit system like the metro, it is difficult to regulate the number of people inside the system once entry is permitted.”
Dayal said that DMRC is running 5,100 train trips every day, with a peak frequency of 2.5 minutes to 5 minutes on all major corridors. “This was the same frequency at which metro was operating in the pre-Covid era. The Metro is thus operating and running at its full frequency and capacity, but with a reduced number of passengers owing to the restrictions,” he said.