Commuters in Delhi faced a hard time on Friday as two lines of the Delhi Metro saw glitches during the day, while the rain resulted in waterlogged roads that caused traffic jams across the city.
The Violet Line, which runs from Kashmere Gate to Escorts Mujesar (Faridabad), crawled during the morning rush hour due to a major signal failure.
According to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) representatives, the snag was because of a “signalling/interlocking (loss of train control and view from the control centre)” issue at Sarita Vihar. “Trains had to be manually controlled on this section… which led to bunching of trains between 8 am and 9 am. The issue was resolved at 9 am,” a statement issued by the DMRC said.
But the bigger glitch saw the Blue Line — between Dwarka Sector 21 and Noida City Centre/Vaishali — moving at a sluggish pace between 2.40 pm and 4.13 pm.
Hundreds of commuters were stuck in slow-moving trains and the crowd swelled on platforms. “I took the train from Saket at 3 pm and headed towards Noida Sector 18. The journey usually takes me an hour. On Friday, it took me twice the amount of time. The situation at Rajiv Chowk Metro station was bad and there was a lot of pushing and shoving to get into the train,” Aarti Kapoor (19), a DU student, said.
According to the DMRC, the afternoon glitch was because of a phenomenon called point flashing — a signalling issue where trains do not attain normal speed and have to cross the point area (affected portion) with restricted speed as a safety measure.
The issue was reported on a train that was entering Karol Bagh Metro station and heading towards Noida/Vaishali. This led to bunching of trains. Normalcy was restored only after 4.13 pm, officials said. The bunching of trains, however, meant that commuters had to bear crowded trains and platforms for a longer duration.
The Blue Line of the Delhi Metro is its longest line so far, covering 50.5 km across 44 stations. With an average ridership of around 10 lakh, this is the busiest line on the Metro network. It is also the line most prone to glitches.
In the past, Delhi Metro officials have said that the signalling system of the Blue Line needs upgradation.
What made the Friday commute worse were traffic jams triggered by waterlogging on city roads. “When I reached Rajiv Chowk Metro station from Gurgaon, I decided to take a cab from Connaught Place as the trains and platforms were very crowded. The situation on the roads was equally bad as I got stuck in a traffic jam at ITO,” a PR professional, who works in Noida, said.
Delhi Traffic Police said traffic slowed to a crawl at Dhaula Kuan, Moti Bagh, RTR Flyover, Nehru Place, ITO and IIT-Delhi due to waterlogging on roads.