Overburdened XBIS machines, AFC gates at Metro stations spell misery during peak hours
Taking into consideration the security concerns of commuters and to decongest long queues at baggage checking points in Metro stations, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) had installed X-ray Baggage Inspection System (XBIS) machines and automated fare collection (AFC) gates.
However, every day commuters face hassles due to these machines, which sometimes malfunction during the peak commuting hours.
According to sources in the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), nearly 30-40 XBIS machines in the entire Delhi Metro network reportedly malfunction daily.
They also informed that every day around 10 per cent of the total AFC gates in the Metro network report glitches every day.
The CISF, responsible for the security in Delhi Metro, has communicated with DMRC and asked them to provide more machines to improve its frequency to check the baggage of commuters.
"Most of the XBIS machines are overburdened and often go out of order. Demands to multiply the number of scanners have been raised. Yet, only one XBIS machine is installed at one Metro station.
Earlier, it was told that the scanners will be multiply as per the frequency of commuters. Still, even after such a long time, a single machine is available for a station," said a senior CISF official.
He added that a phase of consolidation has erupted in the functionary of Delhi Metro.
"DMRC has bought these machines with upgraded technology from a technologically advanced country. But now, the problems of getting proper maintenance causes disturbance," the officer, who did not wish to be named, added.
Meanwhile, officials of the DMRC have claimed: "At present, 294 XBIS machines and 1,816 AFC gates are available in the DMRC network. All these XBIS machines and AFC gates are maintained on a regular basis and faults are attended immediately.
The replacement of X-BIS machines is planned as per machine conditions and recommendations received from original manufacturer/technical expert team."
Currently, there are over 280 machines being utilised in the Metro network across the NCR.
Sources said that many of the existing machines are over 15 years old and are overburdened. They often overheat and become dysfunctional.
The CISF official added that these machines have a life of five-six years.
However, the massive number of commuters in Delhi Metro have caused overburdening and, as a result, reduced lifespan of these machines.
A DMRC official, on the condition of anonymity, said that around 117 new Metro stations will be functional under the Phase–III project soon.
Many new machines will be deployed there and the remaining will be provided to those Metro stations where footfall of commuters is high.
When Millennium Post asked DMRC officials about the overburdened machines, they refused to divulge any details. However, they said that the "machines are capable enough to serve the purpose and the DMRC is working with agencies to upgrade the metro security system".