To curb the flow of protestors near India Gate, eight Delhi Metro railway stations remained closed on Sunday, inconveniencing countless commuters trying to reach various parts of the city.
The stations that had their shutters down included Race Course, Udyog Bhavan, Central Secretariat, Patel Chowk, Barakhamba Road, Mandi House, Khan Market and Pragati Maidan — all in the vicinity of important seats of power such as Raisina Hill and the Prime Minister’s Office. Trains plying on the Yellow Line — on which four of the eight stations are located — slowed down while crossing the stations but did not stop, prompting bewildered expressions from commuters who had not heard the announcements made by the Delhi Metro late on Saturday night.
The announcements made on the trains regarding the shutdown were also inaudible.
“Will it stop at Rajiv Chowk?” was a common question asked by several commuters who had to access areas surrounding Connaught Place.
The decision followed directions issued by Delhi Police to shut entry and exit points of certain stations till further orders.
“The stations will remain closed till DMRC [Delhi Metro Rail Corporation] gets further orders from Delhi Police. All the four stations are close to India Gate. However, interchange will be allowed at Central Secretariat,” said a statement from the DMRC.
The decision to shut down four more stations — Barakhmaba Road, Mandi House, Khan Market and Pragati Maidan — was taken mid-Sunday morning after thousandsthronged areas near India Gate.
The DMRC also issued a statement cancelling the commemorative function to mark 10 years of metro operations, which was to be held on Monday.
“In view of the sensitive nature of the current developments in the city, the formal function to commemorate the completion of 10 years of metro operations has been postponed till further notice,” the statement added.
The commemorative function was to take place at Central Park above Rajiv Chowk metro station with Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit as special guests.