The crowd at Sikanderpur Metro station often exceeds its handling capacity, leaving commuters with a persistent feeling that a stampede is impending.
Being the interchange point for the Rapid Metro and due its proximity to the Cyber City, MG Road and DLF phases, a large populace is dependent on this station to reach the rest of the national capital region.
Commuters say the ‘crush hour’ is a nightmare. Women and senior citizens pointed out the difficulties they face while disembarking from the metro coaches during peak hours.
“I get down at Sikanderpur and board the Rapid Metro every morning. There are always instances of pushing and elbowing, and disembarking passengers are pushed back into the coaches by the passengers rushing onboard,” Romila Mukherjee, a commuter, said.
Sikanderpur station has a daily average ridership of 26,000 as per the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
“People simply do not have the courtesy to allow passengers to get down from the train first. They try to shove their way in the moment the doors open,” Anita Mehta, another commuter, said.
Though commuters blame one another for the chaos, the station also does not have guards to manage the crowd. “The metro authorities should deploy guards at all stations to manage the crowd,” Ajay Singh, a commuter, said.
The Sikanderpur station has been the interchange point for the Rapid Metro, India’s first fully private financed metro, since November 2013.
About 35,000 Rapid Metro commuters have added to the rush. The Rapid Metro, which has six stations, was expected to provide better last-mile connectivity till DLF Phase 3 but with little effect.
Commuters also complain washrooms at Sikanderpur station are unhygienic. A commuter said she would not mind paying a nominal amount for using a clean toilet. “Washrooms on the metro premises should be given priority as several passengers, especially the women and the elderly, have been requesting the service,” Gataumi Pujari, a commuter, said.
Lack of public transport options and poor connectivity with Delhi, Noida, and Faridabad has ensured that more office goers use this line despite constraints.
The last-mile connectivity is non-existent and reaching the station without private vehicles is a task. The area around the station is unlit and there is thin police presence, deterring women commuters from using the metro at night.
“The DMRC has no feeder bus service from this station and there are no other public transport options available. I sometimes call a cab to get home but I do not feel safe,” Kavita Roy, a commuter, said.
Despite its central location, the parking at this station is inadequate. Vendors have encroached upon the narrow footpaths and auto drivers refuse to ply by meter, adding to the crush hour woes.