Travel time for Delhi Metro commuters on Tuesday morning almost doubled as train speed was reduced due to a snag in the overhead wire.
Trains were halted way beyond their average stoppage time on most stations falling on the Blue Line (Dwarka-Noida/Vaishali) leading to delays and crowding.
Trains stopped for more than 10 minutes at every station between Vaishali and Yamuna Bank as well as Uttam Nagar till Mandi House.
“I boarded a train from Uttam Nagar. It usually takes 45 minutes to reach Barakhamba but as the train was stopping for so long, I reached Barakhamba half an hour late. It was very crowded inside the train and there was hardly any place to stand,” said a commuter.
Regular announcements were made to keep the commuters informed about the problem. Passengers, however, said that there is nothing new.
A similar incident was reported on Monday when trains were delayed near the Yamuna Bank station.
Sources said that a spark was noticed from the pantograph, which is a jointed framework that conveys current from the overhead electrical (OHE) wire to the train, near Mandi House station and it was decided to reduce the speed to prevent more damage.
“On Line 3, flashing of pantograph was reported from a train approaching Mandi House from Pragati Maidan, which affected the overhead electrical wire, due to which a speed restriction of 15 kmph (from 40-45 kmph) was imposed from 11.20 am between Pragati Maidan and Mandi House stations (on the line towards Dwarka). Repair work of the affected OHE portion was carried out in off peak hours from 2.28 pm to 2.46 pm, during which train movement was regulated on Line 3. Thereafter, trains started running as per normal schedule,” said a spokesperson of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
Stations on the line witnessed heavy rush and the waiting time increased. “I boarded the train from Vaishali at 11 am. By 12, I reached only Yamuna Bank, which in normal course takes less than 20 minutes. At Laxmi Nagar, the station was so crowded that passengers could not even board the train. Many de-boarded to take an alternate mode of transport,” said another commuter.
Trains stopped at every station for 5-10 minutes against the normal duration of 10-20 seconds. At the interchange station – Mandi House and Rajiv Chowk, the situation got worse as passengers coming from other directions were waiting to board.
“I got down at Pragati Maidan and took an auto to go to Jor Bagh. I was feeling suffocated inside the train,” said another passenger.
Although commuters had to face the slow movement of the Metro on a short stretch, there was a spillover effect on the 51km stretch between Noida and Dwarka due to the snag that lasted over three hours.
“Because of the slow speed, the travel time in the Metro was longer today than usual. I was travelling from Noida to Rajiv Chowk and it took me a long time to reach the station,” said Kapil Bhandari, who works with a private company.