Software glitches holding up Delhi Metro services seems to have fast become a trend since 2009. And more often than not, Delhi Metro officials have been unable to solve the problems in time.
One of the worst among this series of malfunctions took place on Thursday when an eight-coach train got stuck inside a tunnel for over one-and-half hours. There was a problem in the software of the communication system that indicates the inter-linkage between coaches.
The break in communication meant that the software applied the trains' brakes as it falsely believed that one of the coaches had parted from the train, making it an emergency situation. That day too, the DMRC engineers failed to troubleshoot the problem and had to finally take the train out of service.
"Technology-driven systems like the Metro throw up new challenges almost every day. With more than 200 trains running over 70,000km for 18 hours daily, we often encounter new issues," admitted Anuj Dayal, chief spokesperson, DMRC.
Last year in January, a 30-year-old commuter got stuck between the doors of a train and was dragged from Janakpuri West to Janakpuri East. "It was a freak incident. But we have not been able to figure out the exact reason of the fault as yet," a Metro official said.
Services got affected at least eight times over the past few years due to software glitches. These include loss of the train's serial number in November 2009, mixing up of trains' identification numbers in June 2010 and failure of auxiliary power system among others. In fact, there has been an instance of foreign experts being roped in to troubleshoot snags when the DMRC's own engineers failed.
Dayal said: "Any technology driven system is susceptible to occasional malfunctioning. This has been the experience of Metro systems worldwide."