As a large number of New Year revellers converged to India Gate, the Central Secretariat metro station was today swamped with huge crowd, prompting authorities to temporarily restrict movement of commuters through a few gates. The iconic memorial to the fallen soldiers in British Raj era, located in the heart of the national capital, is a major draw for people on festive occasions and, according to traffic police authorities attracted 2-2.5 lakh visitors till late evening. Serpentine queues of people standing at various entry gates of the Central Secretariat Metro Station, were seen, while a swarm of people crowded concourse, platforms and carriages. “Suddenly, a large number of crowd passed through some of our metro stations, as these were New Year revellers heading towards India Gate. So, the Central Secretariat station being an interchange point got choked for few hours.
“For the purpose of managing crowd, some of the gates were shut temporarily during the evening time when the footfall peaked, after which the restriction was removed,” a senior DMRC official said. At Central Secretariat, an interchange point for Yellow Line (Samyapur Badli-Huda City Centre) and Violet Line (Kashmere Gate-Escorts Mujesar), commuters standing in long queues, jostled at the entry and exit gates. People also crowded the Token Vending Machines (TVMs) while many sat idle, along the walls.
In some other metro stations too, like Rajiv Chowk and ITO, the footfall was much higher than the daily average., as people headed from all directions to India Gate to celebrate the day. The scene on streets was much more difficult as the new year revelry coupled with partial closure of Lajpat Nagar flyover in south Delhi, brought the traffic to almost a standstill. Many pedestrians avoided streets and headed for metro for commuting, only to be greeted by long queues and a milling crowd.