Snags hit Delhi Metro's Blue Line for third straight day; commuters accuse DMRC of 'failing to meet its commitment'
Even as technical snags continued to plague Delhi Metro’s Blue Line service on Friday, causing delays in service and major inconvenience for passengers, the DMRC seems to be in denial mode.
Even as technical snags continued to plague Delhi Metro’s Blue Line service on Friday, causing delays in service and major inconvenience for passengers, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) seems to be in denial mode. The technical failures comes a day after the DMRC announced it had fixed the fault in the signalling system temporarily, and it would be running trains in the snag-prone Yamuna Bank-Vaishali arm of the Blue Line at a frequency of 5 minutes 30 seconds instead of two to three minutes.
But passengers say the metro failed to meet its commitment, as the interval between trains in the Yamuna Bank-Vaishali route is as high as 20 minutes. “I regularly travel from Vaishali to Noida by metro rail,” said Yogesh Tripathi, an executive at a private bank in Noida. “But today, I had to take out my car to travel to my office, because very few trains have been running on that line for the past few days.”
Nearly 9 lakh people commute via the Blue Line every day, but repeated technical failures have compelled many to travel by road, adding more pressure on the capital city’s already congested road network. In the past two days, the Blue Line has suffered a number of technical failures, which resulted not only in delays in service but also left thousands stranded.
The first snag occurred Wednesday afternoon, and the second in the evening. The third glitch took place 9 am Thursday, causing commuters much discomfort. A Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) source said Thursday that a problem in the metro's signalling system caused the inconvenience.
“The control room was getting the signals of the movement of trains only intermittently. On account of this problem, the trains on the Blue Line had to be stopped,” the source said.
An official statement released by Delhi Metro on Thursday stated, “On 5th December 2018, there was a technical failure resulting in both the systems at interlocking stations behaving erratically (restarting automatically and switch off) resulting in intermittent disruption of communication with the central control room. On the night of 5th/6th December 2018, the Signalling team had been able to completely rectify the signalling issue on the five interlocking sections from Barakhambha to Dwarka Sec 21 section.”
The statement also said that the signalling issue on the remaining interlocking sections between Yamuna Bank to Noida/Vaishali (Yamuna Bank, Anand Vihar and Noida Sec-16) section of the Blue Line had been also rectified.
The source in the Delhi Metro said that in the interim, the software logs of the signalling system was sent to Germany for online review, as it was formulated by the German company Siemens.
“In the temporary system of signalling which is being used for the Yamuna Bank- Vaishali arm of the Blue Line, the plying trains follow station level signalling and not the central control room. This system is also equally safe for the passenger but a bit slower, and as a result train services on the Blue Line were available at a frequency of five to eight minutes,” said the source.
In normal conditions trains ply at a frequency rate of two to three minutes on this route. But commuters complain that despite changes made in the signalling system, the problems persist and the frequency of trains remained at 15 to 20 minutes on Friday also. Despite complaints of inconvenience from commuters, the Metro authorities insisted that they had not received any such complaints of irregularities Friday.
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