Action followed heavy footfalls in Central Delhi owing to New Year celebrations
Following heavy footfall in the Central Delhi area on Tuesday owing to New Year celebrations, the Delhi police issued an advisory leading to the closure of exit gates of four major metro stations. Police and metro officials said the gates were closed as a crowd control measure. “As per instructions from the Delhi police, exits at Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhawan, Mandi House and Pragati Maidan metro stations were blocked with immediate effect, around afternoon due to a swelling crowd. The gates were opened around 7.28 p.m.,” said a Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) official. Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Madhur Verma said, “Last year, Delhi was gridlocked for several hours on January 1.
The pattern from last year was studied and it was already decided that exit points of these metro station will be closed for a few hours to control the crowd,” he said, referring to a meeting between local police, traffic police and metro police before the New Year’s Eve. Unable to enter the metro stations closest to India Gate or the National Zoological Park, both of which saw a high footfall, passengers were forced to walk to several other metro stations. “We had come to India Gate in the afternoon and since 5 p.m. we have been trying to head home. It’s been two hours already and not only did we not find a single cab, the Central Secretariat metro station was shut for entry to the station. We have been walking since then and are now headed to ITO metro station, where hopefully we will be able to board the metro,” said Suraj, a government employee headed towards GTB Nagar. For Seema Rawat, the day-out with her friends and five children turned out to be a trying one after the group of eight failed to avail any public transport for over two hours.