In order to reduce the travel time of aqua line commuters, the Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) had introduced the 'fast trains' earlier this month. The train was supposed to skip stations that have low ridership during peak hours
Residents of Noida on Saturday held protests against the Noida Metro's aqua line “skipping" 10 stations during peak hours, reported news agency PTI.
Around three dozen people, including office-bearers of residents' bodies like the Noida Extension Flat Owners Welfare Association (NEFOWA), the Noida Federation of Apartment Owners Association (NOFAA) and social activists, on Saturday, staged a protest at the Sector 101 metro station, demanding a rollback of the decision by Noida Metro Rail Corporation.
“We need to strike a balance between convenience and speed. A nine minutes faster journey does not give any significant advantage to commuters but it definitely causes inconvenience to several commuters (whose stations are being skipped)," NOFAA president Rajiva Singh said.
Singh said that many high-rise apartment residents had purchased flats in the area keeping in mind the closeness of the metro station. There are many women who commute during peak hours, and students, as well as senior citizens, are being forced to bear the brunt of NMRC's decision, he added.
NEFOWA general secretary Shweta Bharti said the residents have been raising the issue for the past two-three days but there has been no response from officials concerned.
“Now the metro does not stop at key stations like Sector 101 and Sector 50 during peak hours. There are dozens of residential societies in the vicinity of these stations where commuters are facing trouble because they have to go to other stations now," Bharti said.
She added that the problem would amplify in the coming days as schools and offices are reopening after a break of around a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The protestors also alleged that they were not allowed to travel from Sector 101 metro station to Sector 50 metro station by the metro where they wanted to hand over a memorandum to NMRC officials and take up the issue with them.
“Our demonstration was peaceful. We would have purchased a metro ticket and travelled like ordinary commuters but still, we were not allowed," Bharti claimed.
How does fast train work?
In order to reduce the travel time of aqua line commuters, the Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) had introduced the "fast trains" earlier this month. The train was supposed to skip stations that have low ridership during peak hours.
NMRC Managing Director Ritu Maheshwari had announced the initiative in January.
Metro train services starting from terminal stations (Sector 51 Station and Depot Station) from 8 am to 11 am and 5 pm to 8 pm on weekdays are "fast trains".
Of the 21 stations on the Aqua Line, 10 stations are skipped, saving nine minutes of travel time between the terminal stations.
The stations that are skipped: Sector - 50, Sector - 101, Sector - 81, Sector - 83, Sector - 143, Sector - 144, Sector - 145, Sector - 146, Sector - 147 and Sector 148 Metro Stations, according to the NMRC.
The average run time of the Aqua Line from Sector 51 Metro station in Noida to Depot station in Greater Noida and vice versa is 45 minutes 43 seconds (one way). This has been reduced to 36 minutes 40 seconds by the fast trains, saving around nine minutes of travel time for the commuters.
The run time between Sector 51 Metro station and Pari Chowk Metro station is 37 minutes. This has been reduced to 28 minutes 30 seconds.
The frequency of trains from Monday to Friday is the same i.e., 7.5 minutes during peak hours and 10 minutes during non-peak hours.
On weekends, aqua line trains continue to run at a frequency of 15 minutes with no skipping of stations.
With inputs from agencies.
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