Metro services in the Capital were badly hit on Tuesday as movements of seven trains were affected with four round trip cancellations, two delays and one partial cancellation on the Violet Line connecting ITO to Escorts Mujesar 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, said Sharat Sharma, director (operations), Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
The problems for Metro commuters, especially those on the Blue Line that connects Noida/Vaishali to Dwarka sector 21, are likely to stay.
The DMRC on Tuesday said that delays on the line are mostly because the signalling system is outdated. “Technology keeps changing. We used the best that was available at that time but now there are much better systems available. Even a small snag on the Blue Line results in bunching of trains because the recovery time in the signalling system is relatively longer than others that we are using,” said Sharma.
Changing the system for the Blue Line will require shutting the whole corridor for months, which is not practical, Sharma said.
He said that the two new lines coming under Phase 3 will have lower chances of snags as trains would run under a completely new signalling system known as the Communication Based Train Control (CBTC). Apart from the signalling aspect, the Blue Line that carries over 30% of Metro passengers also suffers as most of the part is elevated, increasing the vulnerability to snags.
On Tuesday’s snag, Sharma 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 OHE. These sub stations distribute power to entire Line 6.”
The problem began with power tripping at Sarita Vihar sub stations at 8.11 am. Supply was immediately restored from Faridabad sub-station which also tripped at 8.28 am. Supply tripped at both the sub stations thrice each, intermittently, affecting the train movement.
A DTL spokesperson said, “DMRC draws power through a number of substations of DTL. If some momentary problem occurs at one source DMRC should draw power from other source and also overcome shortcomings in its network.”