Is it a wake up call for the Delhi Metro? In a Hindustan Times-C Fore survey, the commuters have given a thumbs down to the Metro’s operations.
A whopping 91 per cent of the respondents said the Metro was overcrowded and 61 per cent said waiting time at the stations was getting longer.
C Fore conducted this survey for Hindustan Times on three functional corridors of the Delhi Metro on December 8 and 9.
The research organisation statistically selected a sample of 507 smart card holders, who travel five days a week on the metro network on various routes, and took their feedback on a questionnaire.
Delhi Metro connects 76 stations on three corridors spanning 90 kilometres. It carries more than 9.5 lakh commuters every day.
Delhi Metro’s longest section, the 47.1-kilometre line from Dwarka to Noida Sector 32, is the most crowded line with almost 45 per cent passengers travelling on this section alone.
The memories of two derailments, one near Yamuna Bank station and the other near Dwarka station, in past few months, two cases of electrical failure in the new Bombardier trains, which the Delhi Metro inducted only a few days ago, and a near-stampede at Rajiv Chowk station, are also yet to fade.
As many as 64 per cent respondents said safety was a concern when they ride the metro.
Four people suffered injuries when a train stopped between Rajiv Chowk and RK Ashram metro stations due to a snag on November 8 and more than 700 passengers had jumped out of the train.
With the wait for the Metro getting longer, 88 per cent of the surveyed passengers agreed that the Metro should increase the number of coaches in each train to 6 or 8.
“The discharge of passengers will be faster and there will be less chances of crowd collecting at bigger stations like Central Secretariat and Kashmere Gate,” said Zahid Khan, a resident of Seelampur. “Instead of opening new sections, the DMRC should make efforts to provide better facilities to passengers on congested sections.”
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has placed an order for 424 broad gauge coaches. An official said it will help in decongesting the system.
Senior DMRC officials said the first six-coach train is expected to roll out by June 2010.
The commuters have also condemned the feeder bus service of the Delhi Metro.
Seventy-nine per cent respondents said the Metro feeder bus service was inadequate.
“My house is a couple of kilometres from Dilshad Garden metro station, but there is no connectivity from our colony. I pay Rs 20 to reach the station by rickshaw,” said Neha Sharma, a resident of Ramprastha and a Delhi University student.
Attempts to make DMRC managing director E. Sreedharan reply to the commuters’ concern failed. Several e-mails and telephone calls requesting for Sreedharan's interview remained unanswered.