On the first full-fledged working day of the odd-even formula, the Delhi Metro witnessed a ridership hike of 2.34 lakh till 8 pm Monday, taking the total ridership to 22.85 lakh as opposed to 20.51 lakh recorded a week ago on December 28.
On Monday afternoon, Rajiv Chowk saw long queues at the platforms. However, with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) increasing the number of trips and deploying additional manpower, there was no stampede-like situation.
Malviya Nagar, Central Secretariat and Kashmere Gate Metro stations were crowded in the morning, but not much more than they are usually.
By afternoon, however, the crowd had thinned with several vacant seats seen on many trains and stations such as Green Park and even AIIMS looking next to empty.
Once again in the evening, the crowd increased even at relatively less busy stations such as Patel Chowk. Metro after metro passed by packed, with barely any space to enter.
Meanwhile, an old photograph showing a crowded Rajiv Chowk Metro station took social media by storm.
As supporters and those critical of the scheme indulged in a war of words on Twitter and Facebook, Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai said this was an “attempt to spread misinformation and misguide people”.
“There were attempts to spread misinformation and misguide people by circulating old and false pictures of an overcrowded Rajiv Chowk station on social media. I spoke to Metro officials and asked for feedback from 50 stations. We were informed that the crowd today was less than the usual peak crowd. The picture which was posted was from October 22. Also, there are 25 monitoring teams at various metro stations,” said Rai.
DMRC Managing Director Mangu Singh also said metro services were functioning normally.
Clarifying that the image doing the rounds on social media was old, he further said that none of the stations witnessed any panic.