April 19: A car carrying three African students rams into a truck carrying steel rods. Workers from a nearby Metro construction site provide cutters to sever the rods that had pierced two students.
April 11, 2010: A huge fire in the scrap market in northwest Delhi's Mundka area rages on for hours. Water from nearby Delhi Metro stations, enough to fill 50 tankers, is used to douse the inferno.
The Delhi Metro is clearly doing more than just ferry passengers. With a network spread over 111 kms and another 80 kms under construction, the 97-odd Delhi Metro stations have also become a repository of ready resources — men, machinery and technical knowhow — available 24X7 to pitch in during moments of crisis.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has been extending a helping hand to the Delhi Fire Service, Delhi Police and other government agencies in crisis situations since 1998 when Metro construction began.
The Delhi Fire Service vouches for the support they’ve received. "DMRC has been forthcoming whenever we have requested for help,” Delhi's Chief Fire Officer R.C. Sharma said.
“It is not just firefighting, they have also sent their cranes when there are incidents of a building collapse.”
Sharma adds that though Metro stations, like all high-rise buildings in the city, store water and provide it when there is a fire nearby, the fact that they are spread throughout Delhi is a big help.
In a place like Mundka with no high-rises around, the presence of a Metro station was a big help.
“During an emergency, we take assistance from nearest available resources. Having a Metro station nearby is a big facility,” said Delhi Police spokesman Rajan Bhagat.
“We are a corporation of the city and available for the city for any help,” said DMRC spokesman Anuj Dayal.