Stuck at the station

Stuck at the station

COmmuters' plight

Stuck at the station

Tired after a long day at work, when corporate communication manager Kanupriya Bhargava gets down from a Blue line train at Rajiv Chowk at about 6.30pm, she realises that there is still another battle to be fought to reach to the lower floor and catch a train for Sarita Vihar.

The maddening crowd waiting to board the train doesn’t let her exit in absence of a guard. If at all she manages to come out of the ladies coach, there is worse in store for ahead as she doesn’t get an inch’s space to walk on the platform and gets dragged in the direction of the crowd behind her.

Commuters who need to change Metro lines at Rajiv Chowk get harassed by the crowd during  morning and evening peak hours. All thanks to the narrow space outside the first two coaches on platform number 3 and 4 - catering to Dwarka-Noida Vaishali line.

“Just when I think that my struggle for the day is over, I have to fight literally to cross that approx two and a half metre,” shares Kanupriya describing her nightmare, “There are people approaching towards me from every direction, in order to catch the train that I have just got down from, and in the process I am unable to walk forward.”

Since she has to travel to Jhandewalan from Sarita Vihar and back everyday, its a daily struggle for her.

Similarly, for Simran Thakur, a 24-year-old professional who completed her graduation from Maitreyi College three years back and went to Bangalore to pursue Masters. She says things have worsened since the time she left the City. “I have always seen commuters getting clogged up in this stretch but the situation has worsened now.

A major reason for this ‘traffic jam’ kind of scenario is the eateries which have consumed a major space on the platform, compelling commuters to run into each other. On several occasions I missed my train because it took me 10 minutes to reach the door even when I was a few steps away,” rues Simran who feels that it is important to have eateries, but not at the cost of cutting down the circulating area meant for passengers.

With the increase in its network, the footfall at Rajiv Chowk Metro station has escalated, making it one of the most important junctions. “The problem is that the authorities didn’t anticipate the crowd,” says an architect requesting anonymity.

She teaches at a renowned university in the City and feels that people have a tendency to spill over the given area. In such a case, it is not an intelligent idea “to allow them to sit and relax. The minute you do that, you are adding on to the numbers present at the specific station at a specific time and even raising a security concern,” she elucidates.

“Considering the size of Rajiv Chowk Metro station, there should be small eateries where commuters are encouraged to pick and go in order to allow continuous movement of traffic.”    

With the rise in maddening rush across the City, just before the festive season, more and more people are switching to Metro, subsequently adding to the crowd and the issue.
While maximising revenue is important to Metro, which it earns from these eateries, its time the authorities realise the inconvenience caused to commuters and takes corrective measures.

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