Owners of kiosks along MG Road, auto drivers cash in on Metro delay

As the Delhi Metro’s Yellow Line service was severely disrupted due to a power line fault on Tuesday morning, many enterprising businesses located along the Mehrauli-Gurugram (MG) Road between Qutub Minar and Sultanpur took advantage of the situation to make a quick buck.

The main benefactors from the disruption to the service were autorickshaw drivers and vendors selling water and cigarettes.

Manasi Sharma, a BPO worker, was in for a shock when an autorickshaw driver quoted a fare of ₹400 for a trip shorter than four kilometres, from Qutab Minar to Sultanpur.

“The autos usually charge around ₹100 but today (on Tuesday), they are just exploiting the commuters,” she said.

Sharma eventually ended up sharing an autorickshaw with a colleague.

“The feeder buses were taking too long and were too crowded because of the rush hour,” she said.

She had boarded a train from Kashmere Gate at 9.32am but could only reach the MG Road station after three hours. App-based cab services were largely unavailable and the few cabs that were available had become expensive due to surge pricing.

Meanwhile, vendors selling lemonade (which generally costs around ₹10-₹20 for a serving during summer) sought to make the most of the situation by selling a glass of the beverage for ₹30.

However, commuters, having been forced to walk in the heat, didn’t mind paying extra to cool themselves.

“I usually sell it for half the price, but this is a good opportunity to make some cash. People will pay more when they are in desperate situations,” a lemonade vendor near the Chhatarpur Metro station said.

Cigarette vendors also upped the prices of their products as smokers flocked to their shops in large numbers.

“If it helps me pass the time, then, why not (pay extra)? Other cigarette vendors are starting to run out of stock,” a commuter, who paid ₹25 for a ₹15-cigarette, said.

First Published:
May 22, 2019 02:50 IST

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