New Delhi: Installation of platform screen gates in six of the busiest underground stations of Delhi Metro's yellow line is all set to begin next month and are expected to be operational by the latter half of the year.
After a prolonged period of deliberation, the long awaited technology is being implemented in an effort to obliterate the possibility of potential harm to passengers, accidental or deliberate, officials said.
"Although prototype work that entails constructing sample gates will commence in a few days, actual work at stations will start only in February. We don't have a deadline as such but the work will be over by the latter half of the year," a DMRC spokesperson said.
The 1.7 metre high gates, which are already in place in DMRC's Airport Express Line, will come up at Central Secretariat, Rajiv Chowk, New Delhi station, Chawri Bazar, Chandni Chowk, Kashmere Gate of yellow line, or Line 2, in the first phase of work.
The gates will lead towards better crowd management and optimum utilisation of platform space as people will not stand scattered all over the platform in a bid to rush into the coaches as they do now, an official said.
"In addition, this will give a feeling of safety to passengers, particularly at crowded stations, against accidental falling onto the tracks or deliberate attempt at self harm," the official added.
Only days ago, a DRDO employee lost one of his legs after he allegedly attempted suicide by jumping before a moving train at the Udyog Bhawan station.
A DMRC team is assisting a consortium of Korean and Indian firms to whom the contracts have been awarded in working out the logistics and the designing aspects for smooth integration of the project with the existing components.
"These screens can be installed only during non-revenue hours on the availability of blocks. Lot of integration is required with various components of metro operations for smooth operation of the gates," a DMRC spokesperson said.
Apart from being a security feature, the gates will also have the added aspect of attracting revenue as there will also be provisions for putting up advertising panels.
"One side of the platform will have 64 display panels (LCD screens) besides advertisements at the gates itself," the spokesperson said.
According to DMRC, all stations of the upcoming Mukundpur-Shiv Vihar (Line 7) and Janakpuri West-Botanical Garden (Line 8) corridors will have platform screen gates.
"There will be automated half height platform gates as per technical specifications approved by us on all 38 stations of Line 7 and 25 stations of Line 8 of Phase III," a metro official said.
While the deadline for installing platform screen gates in the upcoming Line 7 is August 2016, the same has been fixed at September 2017 for Line 8.