Long queues in front of ticket counters at Metro Rail stations —the usual sight during the peak hours — seem to have finally moved the authorities. With a recent survey indicating a record 20 percent increase in passengers, Metro Rail authorities have decided to keep more counters open at key stations.
“We have recruited 20 people last week and have decided to open additional counters at some of the important stations,” said A.K. Samanta, deputy chief operations manager, Metro Rail. At present, there are 250 employees manning 130 ticket counters in different shifts. That is not enough to avoid long queues during peak hours at the 17 stations.
“The survey has identified Tollygunge, Kalighat, Rabindra Sadan and Maidan stations as the busiest; so additional counters will be made operational here,” Samanta said. Already two new counters have opened at Maidan and Rabindra Sadan.
Metro authorities on Saturday also announced an increase in train services during the Pujas. This year, 458 trains would be run on the four days compared to 440 in 2002, Metro Rail chief operational manager David Topno said.
On Saptami, trains will run at 10-minute intervals from 3 pm till midnight. On Ashtami and Nabami, the interval will be 10 minutes from 3 pm to 6 pm and eight minutes from 6 pm to 10 pm. From 10 pm to midnight, there will be trains at 10-minute intervals while till 4 am the gap will increase to 20 minutes. On Dashami, the service will on at 15-minute intervals till 9.45 p.m.
“A mobile squad will conduct drives against eve-teasing and other nuisances,” Topno said. Railway Protection Force and Metro traffic personnel will be part of the mobile squad.