The Metro — a boon for commuters in Delhi’s cruel summer months — is losing its cool on the Yamuna stretch. Blame it on the toxic river.
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation officials claim the air conditioning systems of trains that cross the “dead” Yamuna daily and of those parked at Yamuna Bank depot are badly damaged. “The toxic gases damage the coating on the condenser joints of the AC system, which in turn causes leakage of coolant gas,” said DMRC director (operations) Rajkumar.
“Condenser systems of 350 coaches on lines 3 (Dwarka-Noida City Centre) and 4 (Yamuna Bank-Vaishali) and of 100 out of 200 coaches on line 1 (Dilshad Garden-Rithala) have been replaced.”
But here’s the more worrying aspect: if the river toxins are affecting the Metro, imagine the damage it is causing your respiratory system (see box).
“There is no oxygen in the Yamuna, just sewage. Toxic fumes, including ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, emanating from the polluted water corrodes metals,” said DD Basu, senior scientist, Central Pollution Control Board.
The DMRC has asked the coach manufacturer to coat coolant tubes with anti-corrosion paint.