Calcutta metro braces for commuter surge – Telegraph India

Kolkata News

The passenger count of Metro Railway, knocking on the doors of the 1,00,000 mark, is expected to go well past the figure once suburban trains resume on Wednesday.

The Metro authorities have increased the number of trains in anticipation of the rush. But the next few days will tell whether the increase is enough, said officials.

Starting Wednesday, the number of daily trains will be 190, up from 152, on weekdays. Most of the additional trains will start from Dum Dum.

A substantial chunk of Metro passengers came from suburbs and got off at Dum Dum to board a Metro train before the pandemic.

Metro officials are jittery about a possible surge in the number of passengers at Dum Dum station from Wednesday.

“Additional Metro staff and RPF personnel will be deployed at Dum Dum Metro station to help suburban train passengers get familiarised with the process of booking an e-pass. Many of the passengers might not be aware of the system,” said Metro general manager Manoj Joshi.

An e-pass is now a must for entry into a Metro station for passengers below 60. For boarding a train, a smart card is mandatory, irrespective of the age of the passenger.

Before the pandemic forced the suspension of suburban services in March, Dum Dum looked chaotic with a sea of heads every day. A continuous swarm of passengers kept moving between the Metro and suburban stations.

Metro services resumed on September 14 with a curtailed service to maintain Covid-19 protocols.

Between September 14 and November 2, Dum Dum recorded close to 71,000 passengers, said a Metro official. In February 2020, the station had recorded a passenger volume of close to 20 lakh, the official said.

The total footfall at Dum Dum, the busiest Metro station, has been around 20,000 every day over the past several days.

“Around 10,000 passengers boarded trains from Dum Dum and another 10,000 got off at Dum Dum,” said an official.