The project to install screen doors at crowded Metro stations was expected to be completed by early 2016, however, it is unlikely now to become operational till March 2017. The project, aimed at providing better safety to commuters, was stalled for almost a year after the contractor abandoned it. While the Metro authority has managed to bring back the contractor, it said the first leg of the project will become operational only after three months.
The Delhi Metro is installing screen doors at platforms in six of its underground stations on the Yellow Line (Samaipur Badli-HUDA City Center) to control crowd and prevent suicides. At some stations, these doors have been installed but sources said they were unable to sync these with the existing system as the contractor abandoned the project mid way. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has brought back the contractor and work will be started at the Kashmere Gate and Rajeev Chowk stations soon. Work is also in progress at Central Secretariat, New Delhi and Chandni Chowk stations.
The DMRC is hoping to make screen doors functional at Chawri Bazar by March, 2017 and subsequently at other stations. “Most of the work is complete at New Delhi, Chawri Bazar and Chandni Chowk stations but it is difficult to start work at the interchange stations — Rajiv Chowk , Kashmere Gate and Central Secretariat. Likely to be completed by the start of this year, the project will take at least six months. Since the work can happen only when the station is shut for operation, it will take time,” said a DMRC official.
The stations, where doors are to be installed, are busiest on the Metro network and more prone to accidents. At stations where ridership has increased more than expected, controlling crowd has become a challenge for the DMRC. For this, the plan was to install screen doors but a delay in the project means the crowd will be controlled manually.
This year, 12 people committed suicide at one of Delhi’s 156 Metro stations, the CISF data showed. While 21 people were saved by security personnel and other passengers, more than 20 had to be hospitalised after suffering varying degrees of injuries in their suicide attempts.
Over the years, several commuters have killed themselves at the metro stations. Last year, 18 out of 89 people who had attempted suicide were killed on metro tracks.
Learning from the past, all stations on the two upcoming lines — Magenta Line (Janakpuri West - Botanical Garden) and Pink Line (Majlis Park - Shiv Vihar) — will also have screen doors.
“The height of the Platform Screen Doors would be 1.7m on Line 2 and 1.5m on Line 7 and 8. One side of the platform will have 64 display panels (LCD screens) besides gates for advertisements on Line 2 only. These platform screen doors are being primarily installed as a crowd management measure. Such doors are already installed on the Airport Express Line. The doors will also ensure optimum utilization of platform space. In addition, this will give a feeling of safety to passengers, particularly at crowded stations,” said a DMRC spokesperson.