Metro choc-a-block with Numaish visitors

A packed metro train on Saturday.  

One has to see to believe how passengers have been scrambling, pushing and shoving to get into the metro train at Gandhi Bhavan stop past 10 p.m. these days.

Within seconds, all three coaches of the train are filled with passengers carrying bags, covers, and boxes with shopping items and knick-knacks, vying with one another for just enough space to stand on a foot. “This is the last train. If we miss this, we will have difficulty reaching home,” says Irshad Ahmed, hanging on to the hand grip he could luckily lay his hand on.

He and many others who got in at Gandhi Bhavan were visitors to the ongoing All India Industrial Exhibition, 2019, simply called ‘Numaish’, which still continues to be a source of relaxation and shopping for city-dwellers.

Preferred mode

Metro rail has become the preferred mode of travel for visitors and shoppers to and from the exhibition, who are thronging the Gandhi Bhavan station, especially during late hours.

Much of this traffic is surprisingly on the trains towards L.B. Nagar, while on the Miyapur side, the crowd is thinner.

“We came from Karmanghat, and prefer metro rail while going back as we can get down at L.B. Nagar and find a bus coming from Uppal. If we take a direct bus, which is anyway difficult at this hour, we will have to get down at Dilsukhnagar where it is tough to find any other means of transport,” says Satyalakshmi, another passenger.

Frequency of the metro rail which comes down after 9 p.m., adds to the unusual crowds. Starting at eight minutes from 6.30 a.m. to 8 a.m., the frequency peaks to six minutes between 8 a.m. and noon and again from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., only to come down to 10 minutes after 9 p.m.

More trains

HMRL MD N. V. S. Reddy, however, said more trains were being run for the past few days to clear the rush to Numaish.

As per figures released by the metro authorities, there has been close to 53% increase in the number of people entering Gandhi Bhavan station, and 44% increase in the number exiting since January 1. There had been an overall increase in the number of passengers owing to outbound travellers from the city, read a statement from the HMRL.

On January 11, the HMRL recorded a total of 2.26 lakh passengers entering the metro rail network, as against 1.76 lakh just 10 days earlier. Exit traffic more than tripled at the Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station, and almost doubled at Secunderabad, as people relied more on metro than city buses for commuting.

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Printable version | Jun 20, 2021 4:33:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/metro-choc-a-block-with-numaish-visitors/article25995711.ece

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