The technical snag that hit the Delhi Metro service on Friday evening was the worst ever in the DMRC’s eight years of existence. It took 200 engineers more than 10 hours to fix the technical snag on the Huda City Centre-Jehangirpuri corridor. The services were finally resumed at 6 am on Saturday.
“Metro service had never faced such a disruption before,” said a DMRC official.
Following the disruption, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s (DMRC) managing director E. Sreedharan has appointed a four-member inquiry committee — headed by director (electrical) Sharad Sharma and senior officers from the departments of rolling stock, maintenance and underground — to investigate the matter.
DMRC officials said the inquiry committee will look into the reasons that caused the disruption and at the same time suggest remedial measures to prevent such incidents in the future.
“It took the engineers the whole night to restore the service. The service resumed at 6 am on Saturday and as a safety measure, trains are being run at a restricted speed of 30 km between Central Secretariat and Udyog Bhawan,” said a DMRC official.
On Friday evening, a little after 7 pm, a train headed to Huda City Centre from Jehangirpuri with over 1,000 passengers came to a sudden stop at Udyog Bhawan when its pentograph flashed.
Passengers report having heard a loud sound and saw sparks on the OHE.
Metro officials immediately vacated the train. “The whole process took about 15 minutes,” said a DMRC official.
“The flicker at pentograph damaged the OHE wires from which the trains derive power. The damage took place on the neutral section near Udyog Bhawan, where the power supply to the trains switches from one source to another. This damaged the OHEs of some other trains that were headed to Gurgaon. All this happened before the actual problem could be discovered,” said Anuj Dayal, DMRC spokesperson.
“A team of over 200 engineers and technicians from the electrical and maintenance wings worked on a war footing till early morning on Saturday to restore the Metro services on line 2,” he said.
DMRC is now planning to call in a team of engineers from Switzerland to ascertain why identify the reasons behind the repeated technical snags on different lines, said the spokesperson. Earlier also the DMRC had called in experts from several countries including Germany, French, Finland, Korea among others. “We have contractors in several countries and as and when there is a major trouble we call experts from the contractors of respective countries,” said Dayal. Problems, however, still persist.
OHE-related problems have become quite frequent in Delhi metro. Dayal said: “Technical problems may happen anytime on such a huge operation. We check and maintain such technical systems time to time but can’t assure snag-free service.”