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HindustanTimes Mon,14 Jul 2014

Touchy feely in the Metro
Aditi Pant, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 20, 2011
First Published: 18:01 IST(20/5/2011)
Last Updated: 15:55 IST(26/8/2011)

That the Delhi Metro has changed the commuting ways of the Capital is an old story. Now, the Metro and its stations have become the latest hot spots for young lovers to romance. With the scorching summer making parks and campus areas unbearable for lovers, the air conditioned metro stations have become the new love cove for young couples.

Stairway to romance
Public display of affection (PDA) in the late night metro trains is not new, but lovers getting a tad too touchy feely, even during the daytime, is making commuters uncomfortable. “Recently, I saw a teenaged couple almost hugging each other inside the Noida Sector 18 station at 1pm, and I couldn’t even stop my six-year-old kid from staring at them. It was so embarrassing!” rues Niharika Ghosh, a regular Metro commuter. 56-year-old Manish Kapoor, a government employee, who takes the Vishwavidyalaya metro to office everyday, echoes similar sentiments. “Youngsters engage in awkward activities on stairways at metro stations. They are so shameless that they won’t budge even if they see an elderly person,” he says.

Of rules and penalties
Interestingly, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) that monitors every activity taking place inside the trains and stations through CCTV cameras, has official rights to penalise Rs. 200 from anybody ‘causing nuisance’ in the metro. But lovebirds seem to be least bothered. “We are just having our share of fun. Why can’t people just let us be? It’s not like we are disturbing anybody,” says a 20-year-old, who we spotted in a ‘compromising position’ with a girl at the Rajiv Chowk metro station.

Even the DMRC is irritated with the issue. “When we see youngsters crossing the lines of modesty, we do try to stop them. Some get embarrassed and stop, while some argue back,” says DMRC official Dayal Anuj. “But, during rush hours, it’s not possible to monitor what every single person is doing in the metro,” he adds.

Global PDA
A Delhi couple was arrested in 2008 for kissing next to a Metro pillar.
On May 12, a 21-year-old woman was arrested in London for having sex with five schoolboys on the station in full view of the commuters.
In 1910, France banned kissing on all its platforms — not to discourage PDA though, but to stop train delays.

Be warned:
All metro stations and trains are fitted with CCTV cameras
There is a fine of Rs. 200 for ‘causing nuisance’ in the metro
There are mobile checking squads to monitor unwarranted activities

(With inputs from Debasmita Ghosh)


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