The average ridership of Namma Metro exceeded 7 lakh after the opening of the completed purple line.
Metro passengers in long queues shoving fellow commuters in front of the security frisking point has become a common sight at the Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Metro Station. Especially on weekends, with a rise in footfall, the need for additional baggage scanners at security checkpoints is sorely felt.
A student from Seshadripuram Law College, expressed dissatisfaction with the long wait she experienced at the entry point from Kempegowda bus station before the security check.
“My friend and I were returning from my relative’s place last Sunday. Since I had a backpack, I had to wait in the long queue for the security check, while my friend, who had no bag entered easily,” she said.
Usually, there is increased foot traffic during weekends,mentioned Arun Kumar, security personnel at the Majestic Metro Station, “That’s when people generally visit and return from their hometowns.”
He added that it takes a long time to finish the security check, given that there is only one baggage scanner at the entrance point from the bus stand and railway station to the metro.
Vinay, travelling with his family arrived at the Majestic Metro Station to go to the Krantivira Sangolli Rayanna (KSR) railway station. His family consisted of six members, most of whom were elderly and carrying at least two bags each. “We had to wait in the queue for about five to seven minutes to clear the security check,” complained Vinay.
He further mentioned that they had to wait again at the ticket desk to take tokens because they were unfamiliar with the online QR ticket system and did not have a smart card.
Chief Public Relations Officer, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), B.S. Yashavanth Chavan said that there is no plan to bring in an additional baggage scanner at Majestic Metro Station anytime soon. “Earlier we introduced additional bag scanners at Baiyappanahalli Metro Station, considering the increasing footfall.”
He added that installation of an additional baggage scanner would not be socio-economically feasible at this point.
Last year the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) introduced highly advanced and state-of-the-art baggage scanners at its Metro stations to upgrade and strengthen the X-ray baggage Scanning System (X-BIS System) at the security frisking points. Earlier the scanners could only handle around 350 bags per hour, while the upgraded scanner can handle up to 550 bags per hour. The speed of the conveyor belt was increased from 18 to 30 cm per second, this was intended to reduce passenger rush at frisking points, especially during peak hours.
Further, a manually adjustable and extendable inclined conveyor belt system that can be lowered for both luggage entry and exit was included in the updated X-BIS system. This was designed to make it easier for senior travellers to load their bags onto a low-level conveyor.
Similarly, the Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) added a second baggage scanner at the airport station in 2019 as the commuters often had to wait in long queues to get their bags checked.
Vikram Bhat, Architect and Urban designer suggested that an additional baggage scanner can help in reducing the queue, but a space study has to be carried out to find out whether the metro station has the capacity to accommodate an additional baggage scanner before installation.
Exemption of small bags, and backpacks from going through the baggage scanners can be an alternative to reduce the wait, he added.