Trade Fair effect: Chaos prevails at Pragati Maidan Metro station

Opening two more gates does little to deal with rush

Chaos at Pragati Maidan Metro station is likely to prevail despite opening up of two more gates to ease the movement at the India International Trade Fair.

Police officials said additional gates might not be able to tackle the rush as the station will see maximum footfall from November 19 to 27. It is the nearest station to the venue.

Nearly 1.5 million visitors are expected during this year’s fair compared to last year's figure of 1.4 million. “If we go by the present estimates, general public normally travels via metro. We will see maximum rush at the venue’s gates, which are next to the metro station,” said a police officer. “People need to be on their best behaviour to cooperate with us.”

But metro officials said they have made adequate arrangements to overcome any mishap. They added that these gates are usually opened every year to make movement easier. “Since a large crowd is expected this year we have made additional arrangements,” said a Delhi Metro Rail Corporation official.

During last year’s trade fair, the average daily footfall at the Pragati Maidan Metro station was approximately 1.2 lakh passengers which is likely to increase this year. “We do not have any estimates about how much will the footfall be, but we are seeing more rush near Indraprastha Metro station too since the beginning of the fair,” said the official.

The two gates are being used as only exit gates at present. Barricaded pathways have been formed for trade fair visitors to enter the station where three pathways are for men and one for women. There is only one metal detector for women and five detectors for men. 

Security has also been beefed up at the station. “Since the guards are working on rotational basis, we do not have the exact count of guards being deployed at Pragati Maidan. But security has been enhanced,” said Hemender Singh, spokesperson of Central Industrial Security Force.

Arrangements for additional ticket counters have been made at the Pragati Maidan Metro station.

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