Thieves target Delhi Metro Magenta Line, steal power cables worth ₹2 crore
According to DMRC, 25kv/33kv cables have been stolen from multiple locations such as the ramp area (where the train tracks elevate from the underground station) of the Kalindi Kunj depot.delhi Updated: Mar 21, 2018 13:46 IST
In the three months since the Botanical Garden-Kalkaji Mandir section of the Delhi Metro’s Magenta Line has become operational, it has been repeatedly targeted by thieves.
At least 15 cases of power cable theft have been reported in this section, leading to a loss of around 3,750 metres of cable worth around Rs 2 crore.
Even though Delhi Police registered FIRs in all the cases, no one has been arrested so far.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said though services have not been disrupted as backup cables are available, the thefts raise major safety concerns.
According to DMRC, 25kv/33kv cables have been stolen from multiple locations such as the ramp area (where the train tracks elevate from the underground station) of the Kalindi Kunj depot.
Other stretches where such thefts have been reported are Okhla Vihar to Jasola Vihar; Jasola Vihar to Kalindi Kunj; and Okhla Vihar to Jamia Nagar.
Since all these sections are elevated, the cables run along the track where CCTV cameras have not been installed.
Officials familiar with the matter said almost all thefts happened at night after the train services were terminated.
“We have filed the FIR in the reported cases and are investigating the matter,” said Pankaj Singh, DCP (metro).
DMRC said these cables are laid across the viaduct for supplying power to the stations (33kv) and to the Kalindi Kunj depot for trains (25kv).
“As an abundant precaution, these cables are laid on the viaduct in two separate circuits. So if one circuit stops working, the second one is readily available as a backup and there no disruption in services. Therefore, despite these cable thefts, we are able to run services without any disruption. However, these cables neither readily available nor can they be laid immediately once a section is open for the public,” said a DMRC spokesperson.
“If such thefts are not curbed and the second tier of cables is stolen, it may severely affect services,” the official added.
DMRC officials explained that the thieves have been exploiting an anti-electrocution feature for the theft. “The reason thieves are able to cut these high-power cables is because an earth coating on these cables trips the power supply as soon as someone pierces these cables. Once tripped, the cable can be cut quite easily. The automatic cut-off mechanism was installed to prevent electrocution, but is now being misused,” said a DMRC official.
To prevent more such incidents, DMRC has started patrolling of guards and is planning to raise the fence near the ramp besides exploring the possibility of installing CCTVs on theft-prone points.