Metro services on Yamuna Bank - Dwarka Sector-9 line were hit on Tuesday after a long section of signalling cable was stolen in the wee hours from the tracks between Yamuna Bank - Indraprastha depot metro stations.
Metro officials said a section of 108-metre copper insulated wire of different thickness, 125 sq mm and 25 sq mm diameter, were removed between two signal posts on the Yamuna Bridge.
Officials added that the wires were most probably removed between 11.30 p.m. on Monday and 6 am on Tuesday, when the Metro does not operate. Metro services remained disrupted till late Tuesday evening due to the theft.
Senior Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) officials said only one railway line could be used for the movement of trains in both directions from 6 a.m., when Metro services start every morning, till 12.18 pm.
“Due to manual operation of trains and only one line in operation, trains were run between Indraprastha Estate and Yamuna Bank Metro station with a frequency of 10-20 minutes. However, to maintain the normal frequency of five minutes on the remaining Line-3, short loop services were introduced between Indraprastha to Dwarka Sector - 9,” DMRC spokesperson Anuj Dayal said.
A police officer on condition of anonymity, as he isn’t authorised to speak to media, said, “The thieves apparently came by a boat, got down near the bridge and went up to the tracks. The Metro track runs at grade between the bridge and the Yamuna Bank station and accessing it from the banks of the river near the bridge is not difficult. The thieves must have cut the cable and threw it in the river where their accomplices would have been waiting in a boat.”
While DMRC officials claimed that normal service were restored by 12.20 pm, commuters complained that services on line 3 remained disrupted till late evening.
“The train took one and half hours to reach Jhandewalan from Dwarka Sector - 12, which is a 45-minute journey,” said Jenny Jose, a media professional, who commutes by the Metro every day.
“At Rajouri Garden and Rajendra Place, the train halted for about 15 minutes.”
Huge rush of passengers could be at stations like Rajiv Chowk and Barakhamba Road, where footfall is always high. Commuters complained that on certain stations, the trains halted for more than 10
“I wanted to board a Metro from Rajiv Chowk for Barakhamba station at 5.30 pm. A train came but didn’t move for 15 minutes,” said Akanksha Singh, a bank executive.
It is not the first time that Metro has reported cable theft. DMRC officials accepted that several such thefts have taken place in the past too.