By the end of this year, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will start expanding its network and officials are expecting the ridership to reach 50 lakh. The DMRC has identified about a dozen stations that need to be redesigned to accommodate the crowds.
Some of the stations indentified are Rajiv Chowk, New Delhi, Chandni Chowk, Chawri Bazar and Vaishali.
“It is believed that there will be lesser strain on the existing stations after the opening of phase III. This to some extent is true. But with increased connectivity, more people will take the Metro. So we need to change the location of entry and exit points at some stations to accommodate the growing crowds.
“Also, at many stations, we are installing extra automated fare collection (AFC) gates, baggage scanners and door frame metal detectors (DFMDs) for faster clearance,” said a DMRC official.
At Raji Chowk, the DMRC will build a direct exit from the ground floor. This will decongest the upper floor, where passengers interchange for Dwarka-Vaishali/Noida.
“Any person travelling on the Gurgaon-Samaipur Badli Line can go to Connaught Place without going to the upper floor. Only those who have to exit at Rajiv Chowk can avail themselves of this facility,” said the official.
The ridership at Rajiv Chowk is around 50,000, but interchange footfall is around 5 lakh per day. At Chandni Chowk, the location of frisking booths has been changed to give more space to passengers queuing up for token.
Similarly, at New Delhi Railway Station, the DMRC has created a separate passage for passengers interchanging for the airport line. At Chattarpur and Chawri Bazar too,the DMRC has changed the direction of passengers.
Even at Vaishali, the DMRC is planning to remove token counters and place these on the first or ground floor to reduce congestion at security check points.
“At any Metro station, people queue up either at the security counter or at the token booth. So we are trying to separate the two areas to reduce congestion.
“We are purchasing 211 AFC gates that will take the total number to 1,825. After the recent addition, we will have 576 DFMDs and 268 baggage scanners,” the official added.
At HUDA city center, an overbridge was constructed to set up entry and exit on different floors. Similarly, at Kirti Nagar, the DMRC has set up entry and exit on different floors to decongest the station.