7.5 lakh commuters lost in Dec station shutdown | delhi | Hindustan Times
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7.5 lakh commuters lost in Dec station shutdown

Officials fear losing out on permanent commuters; Rajiv Chowk to now remain open for Beating the Retreat event. Subhendu Ray reports.

delhi Updated: Jan 29, 2013 01:18 IST
Subhendu Ray

Delhi Metro lost 7.5 lakh commuters when several stations were shut for five days last month during the anti-rape protests.

In an attempt to prevent angry people from reaching the gates of Rashtrapati Bhawan and India Gate, the Delhi Police had ordered the closure of nine important Metro stations in central and New Delhi.

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) officials said it was for the first time in its decade-old history that 10 stations remained shut for five days.

"It has been observed that the Delhi Police told us to close down stations without considering what commuters have to face. This practice, if continued, will badly affect our commuters as lakhs of them depend on the Metro," said Sharat Sharma, director (operations) DMRC.

He said the frequent closure of stations may lead to the Metro losing many commuters.

For the Beating the Retreat event on Tuesday, the police had earlier directed DMRC to keep Rajiv Chowk, Patel Chowk, Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhawan, Race Course, Central Secretariat and Khan Market stations to remain closed between 3pm and 6.30pm.

Last year, only three stations - Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhawan and Khan Market - were closed for this event.

The DMRC recently took up the matter with Delhi Police and requested them not to ask the Metro to frequently shut stations. Sudhir Krishna, secretary in the ministry of urban development, who is also chairman of DMRC, on Monday wrote to Delhi Police chief Neeraj Kumar, requesting him to review the previous police order on closure of Metro stations on Tuesday.

After the letter, the police reviewed their order and allowed the Rajiv Chowk station to remain open. "As per the revised order, the Rajiv Chowk Metro station will remain open on Tuesday," said Anuj Dayal, spokesperson of DMRC.

But the other stations - Patel Chowk, Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhawan, Race Course, Central Secretariat and Khan Market - will remain shut for three-and-half-hours on Tuesday afternoon.