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`Over 2 lakh passengers used Pragati Maidan Metro'

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A HUGE RUSH: The scene outside Pragati Maidan Metro Station during the India International Trade Fair 2006 in Delhi on Sunday. Photo: S. Subramanium
A HUGE RUSH: The scene outside Pragati Maidan Metro Station during the India International Trade Fair 2006 in Delhi on Sunday. Photo: S. Subramanium

Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: The start of Metro rail operations on the 2.81 km Barakhamba-Indraprastha section of Line 3 of the Delhi Metro project proved critical in the overall traffic management during the India International Trade Fair at Pragati Maidan as on Sunday a record number of nearly 2 lakh passengers used the Pragati Maidan Metro Station to commute to and from the venue.

The passenger volumes at the newly opened Pragati Maidan Metro Station have been showing exponential growth ever since it was thrown open to the general public as part of the new 2.81 km Barakhamba-Indraprastha section of Line 3 of Delhi Metro on November 11. From 6,100 passengers on Day 1, the figure reached nearly 2 lakhs in just eight days.

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation spokesperson Anuj Dayal said by 7 p.m. on Sunday over 1.40 lakh people had used the Pragati Maidan Metro Station. "By the end of the day over 2 lakh would have used the station."

To facilitate movement of people and supervise operations, DMRC had posted Assistant General Manager (Operations) Vikas Kumar at the station. He was assisted by about 55 personnel including Metro staff, sahayaks and security.

During the day, DMRC operated 24 trains on Line 3 as against 22 on normal days. This was done by roping in the trains kept on standby for operation and maintenance. On Saturday too -- when over one lakh people had used the Metro at Pragati Maidan -- it had done the same.

However, while on Saturday the trains had operated at peak frequency till 9 p.m., on Sunday DMRC extended the peak operations beyond 10 p.m. to clear the rush.

Another factor that played a key role on facilitating movement of people was that DMRC operating 24 ticket and two customer care counters at the station. This was more than the original plan of 12 it had for Pragati Maidan.

While travelling to Pragati Maidan this time has become very comfortable due to the Metro, the absence of the 300 metre long ramp which had been planned from the station to the pavilion was missed by people as many of them had to take a long detour on reaching the station and had to go via Mathura Road and the gates there for entering the exhibition venue.

The Pragati Maidan station is the largest station on the section built over an area of 6,800 square metres.

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