Four snags in less than 30 days have raised questions on the efficiency of Delhi Metro’s longest and busiest line.
With a network running over 50 km, five interchange stations and 30% increase in the expected ridership, the Blue Line may be crumbling under its own pressure. But the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) hopes that phase-III stations will help reduce the burden.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) estimated that the ridership of the line by 2016 would be 9.18 lakh per day but in August, 2015, it was 11.94 lakh in a day. This line carries over 30% of Metro passengers and since most of the part is elevated, the vulnerability to snag is more.
“It is the longest route and most of it exposed to nature. The problem in overhead wires happens because of change in atmosphere and because of heat and frequent thunderstorms, this line is the most vulnerable. The track circuit problem occurs because of variation in temperature. Today also, a spark was noticed and as a precautionary measure, speed was slowed down. Also, since the line is getting old, it requires regular maintenance,” said a DMRC official, requesting anonymity.
“The wires are in open and even when a kite or bird gets stuck, the operation gets affected. Also the growth is more than expected due to which at many stations, the waiting time is more than what it should be. Since majority of interchange stations are on this line, passengers travelling in Delhi Metro network have to come to this line. All things combined have led to frequent snags,” said a DMRC official, on condition of anonymity.
It is not only the snag in the line but crowding at the stations too, which is causing problems. According to sources, waiting time during peak hours is more than five minutes at Karol Bagh, Vaishali, Laxmi Nagar and despite having enough entry/exit gates, majority of the stations face snag at the Automated Fare Collection (AFC) gates.
This line has 44 stations from Dwarka Sector 21 to Noida City Centre with a length of 51.35 km and a 8.85 km branch line consisting of seven stations from Yamuna Bank to Vaishali.
The second longest line is the Yellow Line, which consists of 37 stations from Samaypur Badli in Delhi to HUDA City Centre in Gurgaon. The line with a length of 48.8 kilometers is mostly underground and has seen fewer snags.
Recently, track circuit failure has crippled the operations on two occasions while other lines have also faced problems. Last week, a tin sheet got stuck in overhead wire in Azadpur — part of the Yellow Line. The ITO-Faridabad line has also developed snags on few occasions.