After the subways, it was the turn of the Barakhamba Metro station to be inundated on Friday. Half of the station — concourse level on the western side— was water-logged following a major crack in the pipeline, causing inconvenience to thousands of commuters especially during morning and evening peak hours.
The problem was noticed by Metro authorities around 8.30am. Immediately, two entry/exit gates of the station were closed and cleaning work began.
Initially, officials termed it as a minor problem and assured that the station would be cleaned up within a few hours. It was later that they realised that the problem could not be ignored as they were unable to identify the location of the leakage.
Finally, they took help of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to conduct the cleaning operation. “We had nothing to do with this problem. Apparently, water entered the station due to a crack in the pipeline. We are working on a war-footing to remove water so that the gates can be opened for commuters,” said a spokesperson of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
However, till late evening, there was no change in the situation as the flow of water could not be stopped. The point of leakage has still not been identified, sources said.
Till the time this paper went to press, the gate number 5 and 6, near the Gopal Das Bhawan, remained closed to commuters.
According to Sridhar Kundu, a commuter, “We had a real tough time. When I wanted to enter the station from gate number 6, I was asked to go to any other gate. It was raining heavily and I got completely drenched before reaching gate number 4.”
Commuters also complained that some of the automatic fare collection machines were also not working. “It was a mess inside the station. Commuters were clueless about the whole episode,” said Anita Mathur, another commuter.
Barakhamba is one of the busiest Metro stations in central Delhi that registers an average footfall of 10,000 every day.
According to NDMC, there was no leakage either from a water pipeline or drainage pipes as they had been shifted when the Metro station was being constructed.