It was yet another day of delays for Delhi Metro passengers on Monday. A technical fault on Line 2 (HUDA City Centre-Jehangirpuri) that spilled on to the rest of the lines as well resulted in extended travel time for passengers.
According to a Delhi Metro Rail Corporation official, a track circuit failure near the INA metro station caused the trains to run at a restricted speed, but passengers complained of delayed services on most of the other lines as well.
A track circuit is a simple electrical device used to detect the presence or absence of a train on rail tracks, used to inform signallers and control relevant signals.
“Metro rail services towards HUDA City Centre from Jehangirpuri moved on a restricted speed of 20 km per hour between INA and AIIMS metro stations on account of a track circuit failure near the INA metro station. The problem has been identified and will be rectified in the night after revenue services as taking up repairing work immediately would have lead to delay in services,” said a spokesperson.
While the DMRC officials claimed that the services were “normal” on the other lines, several passengers complained of trains running behind time. “It took me a long time to reach Central Secretariat from Delhi University, even though the train speed was supposed to be normal along this section. What is usually 20-odd minutes was almost an hour in the morning and it was the same in the afternoon as well,” said Namita Kumar, a Delhi University employee.
Delayed and crowded trains added to the commuters’ woes at several stations including Rajiv Chowk, Laxmi Nagar, Yamuna Bank and Kirti Nagar. “The trains were jam packed, there was no place to even set foot in the ladies coach, getting into the rest of the train was near impossible. I waited for an hour and finally decided to take an auto,” said Rashmi Khanna, who was trying to take the metro from the Yamuna Bank station.
Mondays are also the busiest for the DMRC. The ridership on the first day of the week Mondays is always more than those on the other days of the week. “The metro is always more crowded on Mondays and we usually start earlier than usual, but today it was worse. In fact the number of times that we’ve had to face delays on account of technical faults makes us anxious now. Each day before boarding we keep our fingers crossed,” said Lakshmi Bose, who takes the metro from Gurgaon to Central Secretariat.