The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation finds it tough to maintain high train frequency on the extension links to NCR towns such as Gurgaon and Faridabad since they have to curtail several trains to handle pressure of commuters on city stretches.
According to DMRC officials, on the Faridabad line, every alternate train returns from Badarpur, on Gurgaon line it has maintained a ratio of 2:1, which means out of every two trains, one terminates before entering Gurgaon.
DMRC is facing the same problem on the Dwarka-Noida/Vaishali line because the line splits after Yamuna Bank and the frequency maintained between Yamuna Bank and Dwarka, doubles after Yamuna Bank. Sources said DMRC works on the principle that frequency of trains in commercial business district areas should be more and the waiting time for commuters should be less. DMRC runs trains in short loops for stations falling under these districts to clear the crowd.
For example, on Jahangirpuri-HUDA City Centre line, the maximum crowd is noticed between Kashmere Gate and Qutab Minar so DMRC runs trains more frequently between these two stations to clear the crowd.
Between Jahangirpuri and Vishwavidyalaya, the peak-hour peak-directional traffic (PHPDT) is 15,797, between Vishwavidyalaya and Kashmere Gate it is 16,432 and then between Kashmere Gate and Rajeev Chowk and Rajeev Chowk to Central Secretariat it increases to 46,097 and 46,842 respectively.
“As per the estimates made before the construction of the Faridabad line, trains were required after every 12 minutes. But we are running at the frequency of 6.33 minutes and till Badarpur we maintain a frequency of 3.16 minute. This is because we have to maintain a frequency of 3 minutes in CBD areas,” said Sharat Sharma, director (operations) of DMRC.
On the Faridabad section, average ridership is 46,000 per day.
DMRC faces a unique problem on the Dwarka-Noida/Vaishali line as the section splits into two at Yamuna Bank. It is also the most crowded section of the DMRC network. Between Yamuna Bank and Dwarka, DMRC maintains a frequency of 3 minutes but since the line splits, trains going to Noida have a frequency of 4 minutes while trains going to Vaishali have a frequency of 5 minutes.
The detailed project report (DPR) for the line had suggested that on the Vaishali section, four-coach trains will be required to run at an interval of 12 minutes. “We have an option of running a shuttle between Yamuna Bank and Vaishali but there will be a lot of resistance from passengers. No one would like to break the journey, and despite planning, we are unable to implement it. This will reduce the waiting time and trains will also be less crowded,” said a DMRC official.
The estimates have gone wrong for the Gurgaon line also as the DPR estimated that till 2021 six-coach trains will be required at an interval of 6 minutes. “But we are maintaining a frequency of 4.27 minute for trains originating from Gurgaon,” Sharma said.
The lines going to NCR have seen an increase in coaches to tackle the rush. For instance, the number of coaches on Jahangirpuri-HUDA City Centre line has increased to 381 from 301 in 2012-13. Similarly on Dwarka-Noida/Vaishali line, the number of coaches are now 411 against 307 in 2012-13 and on Faridabad line, number of coaches have increased to 107 from 62 in 2012-13.