New Delhi: A technical glitch disrupted services on Delhi Metro's Yellow Line for at least four hours on Tuesday, leaving thousands of passengers stranded on the road, trapped in coaches and traffic snarls all the way from Gurgaon to New Delhi. Trains on the line that connects Huda City Centre in Gurgaon to Samaypur Badli in the city, running a distance of 49 km, stalled at 9.32 am and normal services resumed only after 1.30 pm.
Services were hit due to a breakdown of the overhead wire (OHE) at Sultanpur station, midway between Gurgaon and Delhi, leading to power supply tripping in the section, DMRC officials said. There was no train movement between Sultanpur and Qutub Minar stations, two stations away from each other with Chhattarpur in the middle.
Yellow Line Update
Normal services have now resumed. Inconvenience is regretted. Please allow for some extra time in your commute till the bunching of trains eases. https://t.co/Nnqw2VvmIE
— Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (@OfficialDMRC) May 21, 2019
Two maintenance teams of DMRC technicians, comprising 16 officials, worked to rectify the problem and trains were initially run at restricted speed between Chhattarpur and Qutub Minar stations, the officials said.
There was no train movement between Sultanpur and Qutub Minar in the morning rush hours. Passengers of the two trains which were passing through the section at the time were asked to deboard and services were resumed by running trains in short loops, officials said.
After nearly three-and-a-half hours of chaos, end-to-end services were partially restored with trains plying between Qutub Minar and Sultanpur stations with lower frequency, In another 30 minutes, normal services resumed, they said.
With the lifeline that connects the national capital to the satellite town of Gurgaon severed, there was mayhem on the roads -- and on the tracks.
Some people got off the train and had to walk on the track at Qutub Minar station and others were stuck inside coaches, sending out tweets asking for the air-conditioning to be put on. And then there were those who had no option but to simply walk the distance. There were the old and young, men and women, some with children and others with bags, knocking at car windows and searching for cabs, auto-rickshaws or any vehicle that could give them a ride.
When that did not work, several hundreds just squared their shoulders and walked in the scorching sun on the Mehrauli-Gurgaon highway.
Many did not reach their offices and those that did reported for work late. One woman, who took a lift from a passing car, said she was desperate to get to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences for an MRI, an appointment she got after many months of waiting.
Crowds swarmed the stations with people spilling on to the stairs and the road. Gaurav Rangnani, who was on his way to Noida from Gurgaon, said he waited for nearly three hours and still couldn't enter the overcrowded Qutab Minar metro station.
"I am deciding whether to go back home or go to work because I am hours behind my work schedule," the software developer in a private company told PTI in the afternoon.
With the metro out of service, there was surge pricing on radio cabs and autos. "I had to get off at Sultanpur and then take an auto-rickshaw to Qutab Minar. We were five passengers in the vehicle and each had to cough up Rs 100," said Tairas Tope, a retired government official.
Tope, on his way to INA, waited for over 35 minutes in the queue at the metro station. He said auto-rickshaw drivers turned "opportunists" and exploited the situation.
Those fortunate enough to be in their cars also suffered with huge traffic jams that lasted for more than two hours.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal sought a report from Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot. "I have asked transport minister to seek a detailed report and direct Delhi Metro to fix responsibility," he said on Twitter.
Many commuters took to social media to express their anger. "My wife is stuck since 9 am No feeder bus No Cabs No Auto Crazy scene," a commuter tweeted.
Another commuter complained that many were stuck in trains with no AC. The commuter also claimed that some passengers also fainted. An estimated seven to eight lakh commuters use the Yellow Line each day. Delhi Metro's ridership is more than 30 lakh a day.