Monsoon rains, waterlogged roads and the fear of getting stuck in traffic jams prompted thousands of people to hop onto the Metro in the last one week, with ridership crossing 13.5 lakh on Wednesday.
The ridership, which is around 11.5 lakh on an average week day, touched the 13 lakh mark twice this week on Monday and yesterday, thus generating additional revenue for the already profit-making Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
As the skies opened up early morning on Wednesday, people parked their two-wheelers and cars and opted for a Metro ride to reach their destinations on time without having to worry about water-logged roads and traffic jams.
A total of 13.60 lakh passengers travelled on all five operational lines of the Delhi Metro on Wednesday, which surpassed the previous record of 13.12 lakh on Monday.
Though DMRC officials refused to divulge the total and additional revenue generated, it is understood that the organisation might have earned a minimum of Rs. 30 lakh due to the rush on Wednesday.
The sudden spurt in the ridership is primarily attributed to the monsoon rains, which lashed the city continuously for six days, and the water-logged roads across the capital.
On Wednesday, the Metro’s over-crowded Line 3 (Dwarka Sector 9 to Noida City Centre) recorded the maximum ridership at 4.29 lakh, followed by Line 1 (Rithala—Dilshad Garden) at 3.13 lakh and Line 2 (Jahangirpuri—Central Secretariat) at 3.12 lakh.
The total ridership figure of the Delhi Metro has been consistently crossing the 11 lakh mark (1.1 million) in the last few months, but this week, the ridership has crossed the 13 lakh mark twice, a DMRC spokesman said.
Currently, over a hundred train sets are in operation on the five lines of Delhi Metro with a new train being added on the system every 10 to 15 days.
Delhi Metro trains are today traversing over 40,000 kilometres in a day making over 2,000 trips on the five operational lines covering 125 kilometres.
Meanwhile, the Chhattarpur station on the Gurgaon-Qutub Minar corridor which was non-operational for the past two months, opened today for public use.
Trains on the corridor are stopping at the Chhattarpur station from 6 am this morning, the spokesman said.
The Metro built the Chhattarpur metro station fully in steel as it takes less time compared to the conventional construction in concrete.
It had to resort to this unconventional construction technique to ensure that the corridor was opened to the public on time before the Commonwealth Games.
The usual technique of making stations in concrete would have taken at least two years for construction which would have delayed the Metro line substantially, a Metro spokesman said. DMRC was trying to acquire land in Chattarpur area since September 2006, but it was able to get about two hectares only in October 2009 after prolonged litigation.