Metro commuters, who now have to scrabble their way to get a toe-hold in packed rakes, are likely to enjoy a more comfortable journey as the authorities of Kolkata Metro Rail are mulling over a proposal to increase the number of daily services from 284 to 300 from November. The city’s metro since long has been plagued with inadequate number of rakes.
Despite the burgeoning footfall of commuters, the biggest impediment in increasing the number of daily services, was the unavailability of rakes. The dearth of rakes had forced the authorities to reduce the number of services from 300 to 284 in January. Commuters, since then had been facing the problem coaches getting more crowded with each day, while trains have been tending to run late.
The problems of delayed and packed metros which had almost become a conundrum for the authorities are likely to be resolved soon as nine rakes are to join the present fleet by the end of the current financial year. As informed by Mr P C Sharma, general manager of Kolkata Metro Rail today, two rakes each will be rolled out in the months of October, November and December while one rake each will be put to service in the months of January, February and March.
The authorities, however, are giving particular emphasis to replace the non air-conditioned rakes with air-conditioned ‘Medha’ rakes. The first rakes to be replaced are the three non AC rakes from BHL. While four rakes are to be brought from Modern Coach Factory in Raebareli, some of the rakes are to be brought from the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai. Apart from this, Kolkata Metro Rail has increased the number of daily services from Noapara by four to makes things easier for commuters whose numbers are expected to rise further after closure of buses to Tallah Bridge.
The number of services is expected to be increased further as the authorities are working on plans to introduce more services soon. “Our limitation is that we have fewer number of rakes. As and when we get the new rakes, we will introduce more services. Even with the present fleet we are trying to increase services from Noapara,” informed Mr Sharma.