NEW DELHI: On Thursday, the average waiting time to enter Delhi Metro’s Rajiv Chowk station through gate number 4 around 6.30pm was 29 minutes. However, the waiting time was 37 minutes if you were trying to enter the busy station at rush hour from gate number 7. Comparatively, within 37 minutes one can travel from Rajiv Chowk to Ajan Garh station, the last halt before Yellow Line enters Gurugram. Rajiv Chowk is not the only Metro station that has been witnessing serpentine queues long enough to reach the next Blue Line station at Barakhamba Road during evening rush hour. On Thursday, the average waiting period was around 40 minutes at Chawri Bazar and Patel Chowk stations too. “DMRC resumed its services from... more...
September 7, 2020 in a graded manner with a new set of travel protocols to contain the spread of Covid-19, be it regulated entry at stations by ensuring social distancing, thermal scanning, hand sanitisation and wearing of masks throughout the journey, besides sitting on alternate seats inside the trains,” said Anuj Dayal, executive director (corporate communications), DMRC.
As life in the Covid-hit capital limped back to normal, the number of passengers thronging Metro stations also went up. Since September, Delhi Metro has seen more than 150% rise in footfall, even though the system’s carrying capacity has reduced drastically.
DMRC managing director Mangu Singh had recently told TOI that all trains were running at optimum frequency, but with one-fourth to one-third of the earlier traffic due to safety precautions implemented to ensure social distancing. “Demand is slowly going up and this is now causing more inconvenience to passengers as they have to wait in longer queues outside,” he had said. With the graded resumption of services in September, the average passenger journeys, which were around 6-7 lakh, are touching 16-18 lakh now. Though the footfall now is 20-25% of the traffic of around 60 lakh from before the pandemic, it is in sync with the current capacity offered by the system due to the new travel protocols in place. Dayal said that after assessing practical requirements, DMRC had opened additional entry and exit gates at some stations and allowed cash for smart card purchase and top-up. “DMRC is also informing the public on a real-time basis through its social media platforms about the waiting time at certain stations during peak hours owing to compliance with Covid norms,” he added. He further stated that DMRC had ensured that people adhered to the travel protocols for their own and everyone else’s safety.