The problems for Metro commuters, especially those on the Blue Line that connects Noida/Vaishali to Dwarka sector 21, are likely to stay.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has said that delays on the line are mostly because its signal system is outdated. “The technology keeps changing. We used the best that was available at that time but now there are better systems available,” said Sharat Sharma, director (operations), DMRC.
He explained that the company that provides the signal system for Blue Line hasn’t come up with any updates as a result of which resolving a snag takes longer than usual.
“Even a small glitch on the Blue Line results in bunching of trains as recovery time in the existing signal system is relatively longer than the others that we are using. Delay due to some technical problem in one trip has a ripple effect on other trains of the line too,” said Sharma.
Besides, there is no immediate solution to the issue as changing the system for the Blue Line will require shutting the whole corridor for months, which is not practical, he added. Apart from this, the Blue Line that carries over 30% of Metro passengers also suffers as most of the part is elevated, increasing the vulnerability to snags.
However, the DMRC stated that the two new lines coming under Phase 3 will have lower chances of snags as trains will run under a completely new signal system known as the Communication Based Train Control (CBTC). “It’s a very sophisticated signal technology. Even if there is a problem, as is the case with all new products, the restoration time will be far lesser,” a metro spokesperson said.
Glitches in metro service have become a routine affair now with the Violet Line connecting ITO to Escorts Mujesar being badly hit on Tuesday. Movements of seven trains were affected with four round trip cancellations, two delays and one partial cancellation on the corridor due to erratic power supply.
A similar snag on Monday had hit the Yellow Line (Jahangirpuri – Samaypur Badli).
Power supply at three sub stations tripped intermittently in the morning causing hardships for office-goers stranded in trains and stations.
It was a “rare situation” when three sub stations tripped one after another due to problems of power supply causing cancellation of four round trips, metro officials said.
“Intermittent power supply failure from Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam Ltd (HVPNL) and Delhi Transco Ltd (DTL) to DMRC’s sub stations located at Faridabad, Sarita Vihar and Park Street led to tripping of overhead electrical wire (OHE). These sub stations distribute power to entire Line 6,” Sharma said.
A DTL spokesperson said, “DMRC draws power through a number of substations of DTL. If a momentary problem occurs at one source DMRC should draw power from other source and also overcome shortcomings in its network.”