Bengaluru metro launches ‘special operation programme’ for orderly boarding  

With the expansion of the Namma Metro, issues relating to disorderly boarding and and passenger behaviour protocols have risen, particularly during peak hours

Updated - August 09, 2023 11:12 am IST

Published - August 08, 2023 09:38 pm IST - Bengaluru

Home Guards creating awareness on hassle-free travel under the ‘special operation programme’ at a metro station in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

Home Guards creating awareness on hassle-free travel under the ‘special operation programme’ at a metro station in Bengaluru on Tuesday. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Bengaluru

With the expansion of the Namma Metro, issues relating to disorderly boarding and and passenger behaviour protocols have risen, particularly during peak hours. Acknowledging these, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) introduced a ‘special operational programme’ on Tuesday that aims at addressing chaos and enhancing station management.

Commuters have expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of order and inadequate management in queuing, boarding, and deboarding procedures overseen by metro authorities. Additionally, concerns have arisen regarding the adherence to protocols by the deployed home guards at various metro stations.

Ratnakar Rai, a frequent traveller from Peenya, said: “When the metro commenced its operations, a disciplined queuing process was adhered to while boarding and alighting the train. The guards positioned along the tracks used to actively encourage passengers to maintain the queue, ensuring convenience for everyone. Regrettably, the current scenario is quite different, as a significant number of passengers no longer adhere to the queue system during boarding. Furthermore, the guards seem to have become indifferent to this issue.”

Kamala K., who takes the metro regularly from Indiranagar station, said ever since the Whitefield line opened, crowds have increased steadily, but so has chaos within the stations and trains. “One of the advantages of travelling by metro was that everything was systematic and disciplined. Now, there are no queues to board the trains, people are littering in the stations and inside trains, there is little monitoring. I dread to think what will happen once the Baiyappanahalli-K.R. Pura stations are connected,” she said.

Also Read: Report finds efficient rainwater harvesting structures missing along Metro lines

Unsettling experiences

At Majestic Metro Station, which serves as an interchange station for the green and purple lines, passengers complain about congestion observed on the escalators and staircases. This congestion often results in instances of passengers being pushed and jostled while navigating these pathways.

Prerana Rao, a commuter, said: “Due to constant overcrowding on the escalators, I opt for the staircase, but it’s often congested, and fellow passengers tend to push and rush to catch their trains. This has been particularly distressing, especially for female passengers.”

BMRCL stirs into action

After being criticised by passengers on social media, BMRCL has woken up to the reality of how indiscipline has caused distress among passengers. Speaking to The Hindu, BMRCL Chief Public Relations Officer B.L. Yeshwanth Chavan said: “We have observed that a majority of passengers adhere to the queue system due to the clear markings across all metro station platforms. However, there are a few passengers who currently disregard the queue system. In response, we have launched an awareness campaign under the special operation programme at all stations, aiming to facilitate smooth travel by emphasising that proper queuing and protocols of boarding and deboarding are followed.”

On the issue of congested stairways and escalators, Mr. Chavan noted that this concern predominantly arises during peak hours.

Meanwhile, BMRCL has undertaken efforts to raise awareness about refraining from playing loud music within the metro trains. “We have implemented a ban on loud music aboard metro trains to ensure the comfort of co-passengers. We have been making announcements within the metro, and now we’re embarking on an extensive awareness campaign to encourage the use of headphones to listen to music or watch videos on mobile phones, thus preventing inconvenience.”

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