Despite ban on photography and shooting of videos inside Metro stations, commuters capture the chaos through mobile phones
Fed up with overcrowding of trains and constant mismanagement at major stations during the peak hours, the harried commuters of Delhi Metro have found out a novel way to expose these shortcomings.
They have started shooting videos of the overcrowded stations, jam packed trains and frequent chaos and fights that break out at various stations and post them on the sites like YouTube. And surprisingly such videos are getting overwhelming response.
Interestingly, the Delhi Metro authorities claim that still photography and shooting of videos inside the Metro stations and trains is prohibited as per the Delhi Metro Railway Act. The passengers are not only making the videos, they are also recording the location, train numbers and timings in the video to maintain their authenticity.
Metro commuters have been complaining for long about the trains running slow and frequent technical glitches occurring at the regular intervals on all the lines. And these problems are not limited to peak hours alone. Even during day time, it becomes very difficult to board the trains especially at the major stations like Rajiv Chowk and Kashmiri Gate.
"What will passengers do? Trains run late. People have to stand for long to get into the trains which are already overcrowded. This often results in chaos and even fights between the commuters. So, passengers resorting to such exposes is good," said, Sumit a regular commuter.
With the opening of Delhi - Gurgaon and Delhi-NOIDA line, the ridership on Metro has reached 16 lakh. A Delhi Metro operations official said that the problem of overcrowding is not only because of shortage of trains. "The new trains often develop technical glitches. Due to this, the schedule goes haywire and entire operation of trains has to be rescheduled. This is one of the big reasons of overcrowding," said the official who wished not to be identified.
The commuters say, shooting a video and exposing Metro is not an easy job. If someone is found shooting by CISF or Delhi Metro guards, he is pulled up if not fined. "We shoot videos with cell phones in such a way that Metro guards and CISF officials don't catch us," said, Umesh Bahuguna another Metro commuter.
A Delhi Metro spokesperson when contacted said that every week on Line-II (Delhi-Gurgaon) and Line-III (Dwarka - Anand Vihar /NOIDA), a six coach train will be introduced. "We are seized of the matter. By May, the overcrowding is expected to be over as 80 percent of the trains on these two lines will have six coaches. After introduction of six-coach train, the carrying capacity will go upto 2000 persons per train," he said.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation makes 2,700 trips per day carrying 1.5 million passengers, who on an average travel a distance of 17 kilometres each. There are 54 trains on the Jahangirpuri-Huda City Centre route now. This will go up to 60. The number of trains on the Dilshad Garden-Rithala route will go up by four to 29 but they will continue to be four-coach trains. The Noida City Centre-Dwarka sector has 64 trains, and DMRC plans to increase the number by seven. Of the 71, 39 will be six-coach and 32 four-coach trains.