Delhiites are so accustomed to travelling in the Metro that they are not unduly worried about traffic situation or time factor. On the odd occasions that glitches, generally technical, do happen, there is utter chaos.
Once a train is delayed for some reason, there is a cascading effect and the entire smooth operation gets disrupted. Around a year back, there was a spate of cable thefts. Then there were a few electrical problems that brought train(s) to a halt, a couple of times inside one of the underground tunnels.
Lately, there has been a rash of suicides, with disturbed or deranged passengers jumping in front of oncoming trains at the stations. In one such attempted suicide recently, a 28-year-old man threw himself on to the tracks at Chandni Chowk.Luckily,he escaped with some injuries. But this misdeed saw the train held up at the station for over 40 minutes. It also meant additional work for the CISF, Delhi Police and Metro personnel.
Trains running on that line also piled up at various stations.A colleague travelling in one such delayed train was witness to the harrowing time that passengers go through. Since it was rush hour, several people, including senior citizens, were unable to stand for long. Many people, particularly the younger lot, settled themselves on the floor. There were different woes aired by the passengers, including missed appointments and job interviews. But the most pathetic, our colleague felt, was that of a middle-aged gentleman, who had a train to catch at the New Delhi Railway Station. He had taken the Metro with ample time to spare and was relaxed for some time as the announcement merely said there was a short delay. After a good half-an-hour, the man realised there was no way he could catch the train. As he frantically called up his colleague waiting at the New Delhi Railway Station, he could watch the time ticking away and hear about the departing train.He justly deplored the Metro authorities for failing to give correct information to the passengers. If one knew the exact cause and length of the delay, one could make alternative arrangements. For instance, in this case, the person could have got off the metro and taken an autorickshaw or cab to the railway station.