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Huge crowds on Delhi Metro due to Commonwealth Games

New Delhi, Oct 7 (Calcutta Tube) Jam-packed coaches, pushing and shoving and sometimes the doors not closing due to the rush… Travelling on Delhi Metro is getting difficult due to the Commonwealth Games and the traffic restrictions, but daily passengers still prefer it to other modes of transport.

According to a Delhi Metro official, the daily ridership has doubled after the dedicated Commonwealth Games lanes began as thousands of people are avoiding buses.

The most crowded was Line 3 (Dwarka Sector 9-Noida City Centre) which recorded a ridership of 517,000 Monday, followed by Line 2 (Central Secretariat-HUDA City Centre in Gurgaon) which had 506,000 passengers the same day.

The official also said that every carriage on Line 3 is 30 percent overloaded at all times and 50 percent overloaded during peak hours.

‘Almost all trains running from 8 to 11 in the morning and evening are getting more passengers. At times, the doors to the trains do not close because of the overflowing crowd,’ a security official said.

Arpita Singh, a regular commuter, said: ‘It is getting difficult to travel in the metro particularly during peak hours. I missed five trains and was stranded at Rajiv Chowk metro station for half-an-hour. The trains are jam packed and there is no space even to stand.’

‘Every one said it is easy to travel in the metro but seeing the maddening crowd at Kashmere Gate, I thought it is better to take an auto-rickshaw or else one needs to be really rude and cram or push oneself into the carriage,’ said Randeep Guleria, a passenger at Kashmere Gate.

Many commuters said that stations like Rajiv Chowk, Kashmere Gate, Chandni Chowk, Yamuna Bank, Karol Bagh, Central Secretariat, Noida Sector 15, Laxmi Nagar, Anand Vihar ISBT, Dilshad Garden, and New Delhi Railway Station are some of the most overcrowded, particularly during peak hours from 8 to 11 a.m. and from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

An official of the Central Industrial Security Force, which provides security at Metro stations, told IANS that for the past one week, the same uncontrollable situation is noticed at some important stations like Kashmere Gate, Chandni Chowk and New Delhi Railway Station.

‘Thousands of passengers can be seen boarding or getting off. It is uncontrollable. The forcible entry and exit of passengers pushing madly creates a stampede-like situation which even security personnel cannot possibly check,’ said the official, who did not want to be identified.

Some daily Metro commuters IANS spoke to had the same problems to share but admitted they waited with utmost patience to travel and adjust in it, as the journeys to home or to office were much faster compared to cars or bus journeys with traffic jams on the roads.

The Delhi Metro runs a fleet of 129 trains on a network of 138 km that has 117 stations. The average daily ridership on weekdays after the opening of the Jahangirpuri-Huda City Centre (Gurgaon) has crossed the 15 lakh figure.

The metro will have a network of over 185 km and about 135 stations and will carry about 20 lakh commuters every day once its Central Secretariat-Badarpur line is fully operational, along with the express link between Delhi airport and New Delhi railway station.

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