Sunday, 28 March 2010

Delhi metro to rope in volunteers

Two days after a man and a woman lost their legs after falling on the tracks at a crowded metro station, Delhi Metro officials said they will rope in more volunteers to tackle high volume of commuters.

'Given that we estimate the commuter footfall to reach 2 million by October when the Metro operations will increase to 190 km, we are certainly trying to plan out another programme to increase the number of volunteers for crowd control. We have not decided on a number,' Delhi Metro spokesperson Anuj Dayal told IANS Sunday.

The Metro ferries around 950,000 commuters daily on its nearly 96-km network. By October, ahead of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, it will access nearly all areas of the national capital as well as suburbs like Gurgaon covering 190 km.

During peak travel hours, that last till 8.30 p.m., around 16 customer service executives man crowded platforms to direct crowds. Later this number reduces to four.

On Friday evening, at around 9.30 p.m., two persons were crushed in an accident at the crowded Rajiv Chowk station. The two, identified as Mehazabeen, 22, and Birju, 25, lost their legs in the incident. Delhi Police have registered a case of negligence against unknown persons and are reviewing closed circuit television footage to assess the cause of accident.

Birju allegedly ran towards an approaching train on the platform and took Mehazabeen down onto the tracks. Jostling and aggressive pushing is a common sight on the Metro network and officials face an uphill task tackling the issue.

'The commuters tend to get very difficult. We can only request them to behave and stand in queue. But sometimes they do not listen,' a Metro customer care official said on condition of anonymity.


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