Snag cuts Metro link to city, hits thousands

Tuesday’s morning rush hour unleashed a double whammy on Gurugram residents, who struggled to get to work as services came to a halt on Metro’s Yellow Line (Huda City Centre to Samaypur Badli) and the road link to Delhi (NH-48) saw a five-km-long jam.

About 5,600 Metro commuters were stranded between Qutub Minar and Sultanpur after the overhead electrification wire broke down, halting operations for over four hours.

While the snag occurred across the Delhi border, it hindered the movement of Gurugram-bound commuters, mostly office-goers, who found themselves with little access to alternative modes of transport. Those who did manage to hail a ride had to contend with heavy traffic snarls not only on MG Road but also on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, where a truck had broken down near Mahipalpur.

Passenger spillover was reported from all five Metro stations in Gurugram—Guru Dronacharya, Sikanderpur, MG Road, Iffco Chowk and Huda City Centre. These see an average daily ridership of 2,80,412 people, more than half of which is bound for Huda City Centre, according to a recent survey by School of Pla -nning and Architecture, Delhi.

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) officials said this was the first time that two trains had to be evacuated simultaneously.

In a statement, the DMRC said the issue was reported at 9.27am, when a driver reported the OHE breakdown, leading to tripping of power supply at the Sultanpur Metro station. The train was coming from Samaypur Badli.

“By 9.45am, two trains—one between Qutub Minar and Chhattarpur and the other between Chattarpur and Sultanpur— came to a halt. When the fault could not be fixed within the stipulated time, we decided to deboard passengers and guided them towards the nearest Metro stations,” a spokesperson said.

The exit door at the end of the train was opened by the staff and the ramp pulled out to help passengers get on to the tracks.

The official said both the trains were packed, making evacuation difficult, with many trapped commuters complaining of nausea. “By 11.10am one train was evacuated and by 11.27am we managed to empty out the second train,” the spokesperson added.

Metro officials said around 1.15pm, repairs were completed and the stranded trains were removed from the section.

To control the crowd, security officials closed entry and exit at all affected stations till 2pm, when Metro operations were completely restored.

To cope with the malfunction, the DMRC introduced feeder services between Qutub Minar and Ghitorni stations, while the remaining line was being operated in two loops, from Samaypur Badli to Qutub Minar and from Sultanpur to Huda City Centre. However, the feeder buses were nowhere to be seen.

It was the stretch of MG Road between Qutub Minar and Sultanpur where chaos unfolded as people were left with no choice but to brave the heat and walk to Sultanpur, in order to catch the short-loop service. On foot, this distance is just over 3kms.

While the fault was being fixed, service was completely stopped between Sultanpur and Qutub Minar stations.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal reacted to the chaos and asked for a detailed report.

Meanwhile, social media was flooded with angry commuters complaining about the situation, post videos and pictures of evacuation and the rush at stations.

First Published:
May 22, 2019 02:37 IST

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