With an aim to control over crowding of stations, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has decided to rationalise the maximum time limit of stay on station premises permissible to commuters in accordance with the length of their journey from January 11.
The maximum permissible time is divided into three separate time zones, which has been stipulated after calculating the maximum possible time that a commuter can take to travel specific distances, however, with the new arrangement, commuters will not be able to stay long inside the stations, said the DMRC in a statement, adding that the new rule will be applicable to both token as well as smart card users.
According to new regime, the maximum permissible time limit for stay within the Metro system – 170 minutes at present – will now be 180 minutes for those buying tickets of Rs. 23 or above, 100 minutes for tickets costing Rs. 19-23, and 65 minutes for tickets up to Rs. 18.
Though the new time zones will be implemented from January 11 onwards, the remaining month will be used to sensitise or inform the commuters about the new arrangement. In case of any breach of the new time zones during January, the cards or tokens purchased by the commuters will show error (error no. 159).The commuters will then have to report to the Customer Care Centres for their exit without any penalty.
However, penalties of Rs. 10 per extra hour (maximum Rs.50 as per DMRC business rules) will be imposed (as per existing business rules) for any breach of the time limit from February1onwards.
As of now, the commuter are allowed to stay inside the Metro premises for 170 minutes if they enter from one station and exit from another station irrespective of the distance travelled.
“Every month,” said DMRC, “more than one lakh commuters are penalised for overstaying in the system by exceeding the time limit.”
In December last year, as many as 1,08,513 passengers were booked for overstaying in the system, which significantly contributes to the problem of overcrowding, said the DMRC in a statement.
The DMRC said stations covered within the three time zones from each station would be displayed at all stations so that the commuters clearly know within how much time they should exit from the system based on the destination they are travelling to. Announcements regarding the same will also be made with from Monday.
For example, if a commuter is travelling from Barakhamba Road to Ramkrishna Ashram Marg, he would have to exit the system within 65 minutes as the destination would be within the first time zone (of about nine stations) fare of up to Rs.18., while the list of stations covered within this zone and the subsequent zones would be displayed at the Barakhamba Road station itself.