New Delhi, May 21 (IANS) Delhi Metro commuters on Tuesday had a harrowing time during the morning rush hours and around 5,000 had to be evacuated from stuck trains as the services on the Yellow Line between Haryana’s Huda City and Samaypur Badli in Delhi were stalled for over four hours due to a technical snag.
The service was hit around 9.30 am due to the breakdown of overhead wire (OHE) at the Sultanpur station, leaving thousands of people stranded and scores stuck in the trains.
Although the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) announced around 1 p.m. that the service has been restored, there was a slowdown in the plying of trains on the line till late in the evening.
The DMRC said the slow movement of trains was due to bunching of the trains.
Calling it a harrowing experience, commuters shared videos and pictures of the passengers walking on Metro tracks. Scores of passengers got stuck in the trains and had to be evacuated.
“Passengers of two trains between the two metro stations were evacuated this morning after the train services were affected,” the DMRC said in a tweet.
The DMRC said more than 5,000 passengers were evacuated in the mid-section safely and buses were arranged at a short notice for the commuters while starting restoration operations simultaneously, which was an “extremely challenging” situation.
“Disturbances in suburban Metro operations are extremely tricky in urban transportation with high frequency of train services,” DMRC’s Executive Director Anuj Dayal said.
Passengers complained that the evacuation process took so long that several of them started feeling uneasy inside the train.
“The evacuation was carried out after a prolonged wait of over an hour. We kept trying to contact the operator, but in vain. I even suggested breaking a window, but the fellow passengers refused,” said Pankaj Dugar, a commuter.
Due to the massive train delays, the metro stations falling on the line were overcrowded.
Huge crowds could be seen at Hauz Khas, Saket, Malviya Nagar, Chhatarpur and Qutub Minar metro stations. Passengers complained that the gates of the trains did not open at several stations. Even the air conditioner inside the trains did not function, they said.
“The Qutub Minar and Chhatarpur stations got so overcrowded that the entry had to be closed,” said Krishnakant Raj, a commuter.
It did not end here. The app-based taxi service operators immediately applied flexible charges and doubled the price of fare.
“I have to reach my office located at Nirman Bhawan and my nearest station is Udyog Bhawan. I had to shell out Rs 200 to reach from Sultanpur to Saket metro station,” said Nilima Sharma, who works in the CPWD office.
At 1 pm, the DMRC tweeted: “Normal services have now resumed. Inconvenience is regretted. Please allow for some extra time in your commute till the bunching of trains eases.”
Earlier, the DMRC said that train movement has been partially restored between Qutub Minar and Chhatarpur metro stations. “Single line operational at the moment. We will keep you updated. On the other line, the stranded train is being removed. Services will be completely normalised shortly,” it added.
Meanwhile, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot wrote to DMRC Managing Director Mangu Singh, asking him to ensure that city-state’s transport minister is informed about any disruption in metro services.
Referring to the disruption in metro services on Tuesday, Gehlot’s office stated that “such incidents must be reported by DMRC to Minister (Transport) immediately in future.”
He also added that the evacuation of one of the two trains that got stuck at Chhatarpur and Sultanpur metro stations appears to have taken longer time.
Earlier in the day, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked the transport minister Kailash Gahlot to seek a detailed report into the Delhi Metro technical snag incident that left thousands stranded. “I have asked transport minister to seek a detailed report and direct Delhi Metro to fix responsibility,” Kejriwal tweeted.