Thousands of commuters had a harrowing experience on Tuesday afternoon when Metro services were disrupted on the busy 45 km-long Jahangirpuri-Gurgaon corridor (line 2) due to major faults in power supply system.
The technical fault led Delhi Metro to withdraw as many as eight trains from the line, causing massive inconvenience to its commuters. The service on the line remained disrupted for over an hour leaving thousands of commuters stranded at several stations. It was the biggest technical glitch that affected Metro services after almost six months.
"Metro services on line 2 were affected due to tripping of the power supply from the Gas Turbine Power Station of the Indraprastha Power Generation Company, which supplies power to this corridor at the New Delhi Metro sub-station," Anuj Dayal, Delhi Metro spokesperson said.
According to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, the problem started when a surge arrester (that controls voltage fluctuation) in the pantograph of a Gurgaon- bound train ripped open with a bang at the Chawri Bazaar Metro Station.
Thinking it to be a bomb explosion, around 1,000 commuters inside the train panicked, resulting in commotion.
"We had to vacate the train that was stranded at Chawri Bazaar Metro station. Some other trains got stranded on tracks on the pre-dominantly underground corridor due to failure in power supply. They were brought to the stations slowly. No train was stranded inside a tunnel," said a spokesperson of DMRC.
"Following this we had to withdraw eight trains. The service resumed again about an hour later after power supply started," he said.
Commuters, however, said the service disruption on the line continued for nearly two hours. "There was chaos at the stations. We remained clueless about the problem for about 15 to 20 minutes. Metro’s helpline number was also not functioning," said Tashi Dolua of Mukherjee Nagar who came to GTB station to catch a train for Barakhamba. She finally had to come out of the Metro station and hire an auto to reach her destination.
Similar problems occurred on Noida–Dwarka corridor (Line 3) at the same time but services remained uninterrupted as back-up power was arranged from Botanical Garden, Subhash Nagar and Dwarka substations, said DMRC officials.
All other lines remained unaffected and services were normal, said DMRC.