Passengers outside Central Secretariat Metro Station in New Delhi on Tuesday. Metro services were closed after the failure of the northern grid. (PTI photo)
An massive power outage Tuesday afternoon crippled the Delhi Metro for close to two hours for the second time in two days, impacting tens of thousands of passengers in Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida. Train services on all six lines resumed partially at 2.50 p.m.
"Metro services started to resume in phases at 2.50 p.m. We were unable to operate any of the services from 1.05 p.m. to 2.50 p.m. after the Northern Grid collapsed. The partial servcies started at 2.50 p.m. with 10 minutes frequency," a Delhi Metro official said.
"The entry and exit gates have been opened. We hope normalcy will soon be restored," the official said.
Entry to all the 139 Metro stations in Delhi, Gurgaon in Haryana and Noida in Uttar Pradesh was closed after the grid collapsed, following which the trains which were plying were immediately brought to the nearest station for evacuating the passengers.
"The immediate concern, after the grid collapsed at 1.05 p.m., was to evacuate passengers in trains running in the underground sections. Nine trains were running underground. They were immediately brought to the nearest station and the passengers were evacuated. No passengers are stranded underground," the official said.
Predictably, there was chaos after the services resumed. Said passenger Katyani Singh of the scene as the first train arrived at the Noida Sector 18 station: "There was a huge crowd at the entry gates with serpentine queues on the platofrm. People were packed in the coaches. Even after half-an-hour I could not get into a train."
"The trains are jam packed and there is no space even to stand," said passenger Arpita Singh at the Central Secretariat Metro station.
"The crowd is uncontrollable. The passengers pushing each other is creating a stampede-like situation. The doors of the trains are not closing because of the overflowing crowds," said a security official, who did not want to be identified.
Delhi Metro operates over 2,700 trips a day, covering about 70,000 km and carrying around 1.8 million passengers on week days.
Over the years, the Metro has become a cheap, convenient and reliable mode of travel in the capital.