In a move that has not gone down well with commuters, the Delhi Metro has put a cap on the number of times smart cards can be recharged in a day. Commuters now can now top up their cards only once a day.
This means, if commuters exhaust their balance after a long day’s travel, they will have to brave long queues for tokens if they want to proceed further or just take a bus or an auto.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation had issued the order a week ago and put up notices at every metro station. DMRC officials however, said that this new system has been introduced on a trial basis.
DMRC officials said that the decision has been taken to reduce the number of monetary transactions by its men at counters and argued that those who need multiple journeys can plan their day accordingly and top up their cards with higher denominations.
“If a smart card user has to take multiple rides by metro, he should recharge his card with a higher amount so that the amount in his card does not get exhausted in a day,” said Vikas Kumar, general manager (operations), DMRC.
Many metro commuters, however, found the decision unrealistic and unfriendly for commuters.
“My travel plan is not pre-decided. I generally top up the travel card by Rs. 100. My work sometimes prompts me to take multiple rides. In case during my movement, my card gets exhausted, I have to again stand in a queue and procure single journey token,” said Himani Dutt, a client servicing executive with a Gurgaon-based Public Relations company.
“Some day, I may run out of cash to top up my card with a sufficient amount. I would then prefer to withdraw cash from an ATM and top up my card again,” said Rudra Banerjee, a commuter.
DMRC officials, however, said that people hardly recharge their smart cards twice a day. If many people complain about the new arrangement, DMRC might withdraw the cap on recharging smart cards more than once a day.
The minimum amount required to top up a smart card is Rs. 100 and a maximum of Rs. 1,000.