For the first time one has begun hearing a multitude of complaints against the Delhi Metro. Pride of Delhi’ites, the Metro has been a huge success since it began the Red line.

Footfalls have steadily risen as the Metro expanded its service. Commuters have been all praise for the cleanliness, reliability and regularity of the service. But now, disgruntled voices have been increasingly heard. It all began with the visible lack of cleanliness in the stations and trains.

Certainly, with such a wide network and the teeming commuters it is an uphill task to maintain cleanliness. Commuters are also to blame for the litter seen within Metro premises. But that only means the maintenance staff must increase their efforts. The other grumbling heard is the steep fare hike.

While one understands the need to raise revenue to meet the running cost, several commuters wonder if such steep hikes in close succession are justified.

The pinch is felt more severely by people from the lower economic segment, as a sizeable number of them take the Metro. In fact, some unofficial reports suggest that DTC buses are getting more crowded now. While the number of buses on the roads have declined, more people are now switching from the Metro to buses.

Peak-hours travel in the Metro is a nightmare. Despite the higher fare charged during these hours, there a huge rush. Trains run fully packed while stations are overcrowded. But what one cannot undestand is the reduced frequency during these hours. It’s normal for intervals of 6-10 minutes between trains.

This results in an unmanageable crowd on the stations and in trains. Why, when one is paying more to travel during these hours, there cannot be more trains to ease the congestion, is the moot question.