New Delhi: The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on Thursday (October 1) said that increase in footfall on several routes during peak hours may lead to long queues outside the stations, and even closing of gates if it continues.
"In recent days, it has been observed that certain sections of the Metro network are showing a trend where occupancy is touching 100 percent mark during morning and evening peak hours," said Anuj Dayal, DMRC`s Executive Director, Corporate Communications.
These routes include Dilshad Garden-Shastri Park, Mundka-Kirti Nagar, Kirti Nagar- Mandi House, New Bus Adda-Dilshad Garden, and Escorts Mujesar-Badarpur.
He further said, "Whereas, during off-peak hours the occupancy in the same sections is in the range of 30-50% only, leaving ample scope for people to stagger their travel from peak hours to the extent possible and have hassle-free travel with social distancing in place."
"Such a pattern during peak hours, if it continues, and is repeated on the other sections too in the coming days, may lead to long queues outside the stations due to regulated entry which is essential for ensuring social distancing inside station premises and closing of gates, etc. thereby, further increasing the journey time and inconvenience during travel," he said.
To provide better occupancy in the changed scenario, DMRC has introduced peak hour frequency of trains from 8 AM to 8 PM, doing away with the concept of off-peak hours from 11 AM to 4 PM where services were available with less trains/trips earlier.
DMRC advisory asked commuters "to avoid unnecessary travel as far as possible and stagger travel timings for office/home /other works to the extent possible to ‘Break the Peak’ for their own convenience and more judicious utilisation of the capacity cum occupancy being offered by the DMRC to the public as per the new norms."
The DMRC further requested the general public to ‘break the peak’ by staggering their travel timings to decongest the peak hours and avail the additional capacity available during off-peak hours for their own convenience and safety amidst the Corona pandemic.
"Ever since the resumption of services, people have broadly co-operated with the DMRC and have followed all-new travel protocols in place thereby, resulting in line utilisation in the range of 9-10 lakhs in recent days, which is in line with the current expectations and social distancing requirements," the DMRC added.
Notably, the Delhi Metro resumed its full-fledged operations from 12th September 2020 onwards with new norms of social distancing in place owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has significantly reduced the number of persons to be carried in a train (occupancy) which should be around one-fifth of the earlier capacity to ensure social distancing.