Efforts on to minimise Metro snags, say officials

March 30th, 2012 - 9:53 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 30 (IANS) A day after thousands of Metro commuters were stranded for over six hours due to a major signalling snag, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) officials said efforts will be made to minimise the effects of such technical problems in the future.

Trains on the busy Blue Line, which connects Noida and Ghaziabad with Dwarka in west Delhi — consisting of Line 3 (from Noida City Centre to Dwarka Sector 21) and Line 4 (from Yamuna Bank to Vaishali) — were disrupted from 8.30 a.m. Thursday and restored only at 2.12 p.m.

“The entire operations strategy of DMRC is being reviewed by senior officials to minimise the effects of such technical problems in the future,” said DMRC’s director (operations) Raj Kumar.

Accepting that major impact of the problem, Kumar said there was track circuit problem between the Pragati Maidan and the Mandi House stations.

“The track-circuit failure means that the trains were not getting communication regarding their distance from the train ahead between Pragati Maidan and Mandi House, so we had to shift it to manual mode from the Automatic Train Protection mode (ATP) on which they normally run,” he said.

Operating in manual mode means the trains run on a restricted speed. Instead of the regular speed of 40 km per hour, the trains were running at 25 km per hour and thus each train was losing about four minutes between the Pragati Maidan and Mandi House stations.

Generally metro trains take about two minutes between stations but Thursday they took about six minutes which led to the slowing down of operations. Entry of commuters was stopped at certain Metro stations like Rajiv Chowk — a major interchange station, Laxmi Nagar and Preet Vihar to prevent a stampede-like situation.

The Delhi Metro official also said that new technology will be included in the upcoming Phase III lines to avoid such snags.

“In upcoming Phase III, the Mukundpur-Shiv Vihar and Janakpuri West-Botanical Garden corridors, DMRC is planning to introduce the Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) technology, which will facilitate better frequency of trains and it will also minimise the possibility of such technical snags from taking place,” Kumar said.

The 103.5-km phase III network will have five corridors — Mukundpur to Yamuna Vihar, Janakpuri West to Kalindi Kunj, Central Secretariat to Kalindi Kunj, Central Secretariat to Kashmere Gate and Jahangirpuri to Badli.

Presently, Delhi Metro makes over 2,400 trips a day, covering about 70,000 km and carrying around 1.8 million passengers on working days.

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