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New Year’s Day Blues: Delhiites ditch cars to avoid traffic snarls, end up in packed Metro

The crowds started increasing from around 2pm, and despite some station exits being restricted around central Delhi, continued to remain high till the last train left stations.

delhi Updated: Jan 02, 2019 09:41 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
delhi,delhi metro,delhi traffic
Heavy rush of commuters was seen at the Rajiv Chowk Metro Station on January 1, 2019. (Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo )

It was not just Delhi’s roads that remained choked on the first day of 2019. Those who decided to ditch their cars in an attempt to avoid traffic snarls on Tuesday were met with packed Metro trains and stations.

The crowds started increasing from around 2pm, and despite some station exits being restricted around central Delhi, continued to remain high till the last train left stations.

The worst affected Metro routes were those leading to central Delhi, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) officials said.

The Delhi Metro’s Blue Line, connecting Dwarka Sector-21 and Noida City Centre and Vaishali, and Yellow Line, connecting Huda City Centre with Samaypur Badli, remained packed nearly throughout the day.

Stations such as Rajiv Chowk that provides interchange facility between Blue and Yellow lines, South Extension on the Pink Line (Shiv Vihar-Majlis Park), Hauz Khas (interchange station between Magenta Line and Yellow Line), and Kashmere Gate (connecting the Red, Yellow and Violet lines) also saw high footfall. From the security gates till the platforms, commuters were seen trying to navigate through a sea of people struggling to find their way.

In anticipation of the surge of revellers expected around India Gate, Connaught Place, Delhi Zoo and Old Fort —the most popular hangout points during New Year’s — exit from Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhawan, Mandi House and Pragati Maidan was closed from 2.50pm to 7.28pm.

“The exit gates were closed on these stations on instructions from Delhi Police. Entry to the stations remained opened through the day,” a senior DMRC official said.

In all the trains operating on these routes, announcements were being continuously being made to inform commuters of the exit restrictions. Despite the restriction, trains on nearly all routes were packed with commuters from late afternoon.

“I had taken my car out but looking at the traffic on the road I decided to take the Metro instead. Though the train was packed, I still managed to reach my destination on time, which was any day better than getting caught in traffic for hours,” said a commuter.

First Published: Jan 02, 2019 09:39 IST