New Delhi: With no clear idea on the increase in the number of commuters availing of its services during the implementation of the odd-even scheme, the Delhi Metro hopes its 70 additional trips daily for a fortnight from January 1 will suffice.
"The trips will be increased during non-peak hours whereas the frequency is anyways two minutes during peak rush hours," a Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) source said on Thursday.
Though rough estimates say the Delhi Metro trains will ferry an additional 4-5 lakh commuters every day during the implementation of the odd-even scheme in the national capital, officials IANS spoke to had no clear idea on how many extra commuters will use the system on days they are not allowed to use their cars.
"We cannot put a number to it," said the official.
The Metro rail will not be able to add additional coaches on existing trains as new ones are scheduled to be delivered only by December 2016.
"We will try our best with the facilities we have in hand. Usually, there is a slump in ridership between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.; we will increase the frequency of service during that time slot," the official said.
The Delhi government's 15-day odd-even scheme will be enforced from Friday in a bid to control pollution in the national capital.
Odd-numbered cars will be allowed to ply on odd dates and even-numbered cars on even dates, barring Sundays when all cars will be allowed.
Compressed Natural Gas-run cars with special stickers, public buses, CNG auto-rickshaws, two-wheelers, women drivers and VIP vehicles, among others, are exempted.
A Delhi Metro Rail Corporation statement said: "From January 1 to January 15, the DMRC will run a total of 3,192 trips against 2,827 trips during the similar period in January 2015. The DMRC will run 198 trains daily to achieve the targetted trips."
However, compared with the number of trips the Delhi Metro makes as of December 31, only 70 more trips will be possible to deal with the anticipated rush.
"The Delhi Metro will press into service the maximum trains operationally possible during this period, keeping only essential reserve for maintenance purposes," DMRC executive director for corporate communications Anuj Dayal said.
"We will deploy additional guards/customer facilitation agents at major metro stations to help and guide commuters. Additional manpower will be deployed to handle the increased load on the ticketing system.
"Lines and stations will be monitored through the control room. We will ensure no overcrowding at ticketing points and security checkpoints etc. Manpower will be augmented at DMRC helpline number 155370 to attend to the increased calls," he added.