Monday, 13 September 2010

METROSCRAPE

Today I was unusually late to office. Reason metroscrape. The train next to ours, on the same track, conked off. Then the overhead wire at Kashmere Gate(KG), the main junction, broke down. As a result, the train which takes twenty minutes to reach us to KG took an hour. At KG, one has to change over to the underground blue line metro to proceed further. But today there was an almost stampede like situation at the underground station. Though there were constant announcements by DMRC informing the public about the cause of and apologizing for the delay, the public became unruly. People were pushing and pulling each other, trampling on female passengers, shouting, screaming and jostling as soon as a train would arrive. Fact remains that DMRC did its level best to increase the frequency of the trains so that the peak office hour movement could be managed and the delay due to technical snag could be made up for. But it was a one sided effort as the public refused to cooperate with the Authorities. They would not even allow the inside passengers to come out of the train! Where a little bit of patience would have helped a lot, the angry impatience and mob like behaviour of the public worsened matters. Being a Friday, the crowd was much less than usual weak days. But panic ruled and indiscipline prevailed to the extreme. At last, failing to board the train from KG, I took the train in the opposite direction, went to Civil Lines Station and boarded the train to Patel Chowk from there. It took me four hours to reach office which normally takes one hour fifteen minutes.
I was just thinking proudly the other day that metro has given quite a new culture to the city and the city dwellers. But today I am forced to think just the opposite. As Mr. Sreedharan said in one of his moving speeches, "Delhi is not yet ready for metro," seeing today's man-made crisis, I agree with him hundred percent that Delhites are yet to learn to behave in critical exigencies and are truly not ready for the metro yet.

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