It has been almost a week since the Delhi Metro railway's link to Gurgaon became fully operational, but troubles for the commuters are far from over.
Most people find travelling by the metro more convenient and comfortable compared with other means of public transport, but rue the huge rush.
“On my way home in the evening I board a train at Arjangarh metro station but never get a seat. In fact, all the seats are occupied at HUDA City Centre itself where the train originates and it is packed to capacity by the time it reaches the third or fourth station. The frequency is low right now and sometimes one has to wait more than ten minutes for a train. The DMRC should do something about it,” said Akash Yadav, a government employee.
And it is not just about jam-packed trains; the parking space at metro stations is also inadequate. “Getting parking space at a metro station is a big problem. Most of the parking lots in Gurgaon have signboards announcing full parking during rush hours. If you get parking, you do not get a seat in the train -- and vice-versa. The solution lies in not just increasing the space but putting in place a sound feeder bus service,” said Akilesh Sharma, an IT professional.
High Court lawyer Rohit Baweja suggests: “If the government is really serious about reducing traffic on the roads, it should introduce separate trains catering to upper-class people who do not mind paying a few extra bucks for more comfort and space. I have noticed that people belonging to that class still do not travel by metro. If the government can run trains offering comfort of high-end cars, such people won't mind taking the metro. After all, travelling by metro guarantees freedom from traffic jams.”
Frequent malfunctioning of the public address system and sudden power failures are the other issues that need to be addressed. “Most of the Yellow Line is underground and when the lights suddenly go off in the train, your heart misses a beat. Thankfully the train has never stopped inside a tunnel when I have travelled,” said Vivek Kundu, an engineering student at Gurgaon Institute of Technology and Management.
For its part, DMRC spokesperson Anuj Dayal said: “We have 130 trains in our existing fleet making more than 2,000 trips every day. We plan to increase the number of trains to more than 200 by the end of next year. But before that the number of coaches in the existing trains will be increased from four to six to accommodate the increasing rush.”