All Metro trains came to a grinding halt at 11 am today and commuters were given different reasons for it —bomb blast, earthquake and terrorist strike, but everything was normal in less than an hour.

This was because of a major mock drill in 11 Metro stations across the National Capital Region to check the preparedness of various agencies in case of an emergency.

This is the first time that the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) undertook such a major exercise without making public the exact timing of the drill.

Thousands of passengers were stranded at various Metro stations and trains were delayed due to the mock drill, but constant announcements were made both on trains and at stations about the exercise.

Trains stopped on their tracks for over 45 minutes as the exercises were conducted, prompting passengers to complain about the delay.

Busy stations including Laxmi Nagar, Nirman Vihar, Rajiv Chowk and Central Secretariat were flooded with people as thousands waited to catch a train.

Between 11 am and 11.50 am, entry into the 11 stations was closed as a part of standard emergency procedure.

Incidents such as bomb blasts, strong earthquakes, fires and terrorist strikes were enacted to check the response mechanism.

Ramya, a software professional, said she went to Qutub Minar Metro station at 10.55 am and was there till a little before 12 pm for a Metro train.

“I was aware that there is a drill today, but not about the timing. I had a harrowing time at the station,” she said.

Karol Bagh, Dwarka Sec-11, Central Secretariat, Pitampura, Azadpur, Badarpur, Kirti Nagar, Chandni Chowk, Shahdara, Noida City Centre and Guru Dronacharya in Gurgaon are the stations where the drills were conducted.

The DMRC spokesman, Mr Anuj Dayal, said the aim of this drill was to check the preparedness of DMRC staff and the coordination between Delhi Metro’s staff, the police, medical staff and the fire brigade in a disaster scenario.

Mock drills are regularly conducted at Metro premises to check their preparedness to tackle different situations.

(This article was published on July 28, 2012)
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