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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

Rush hour metro in Kolkata runs entire 25-km route with door wide open

Two Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel guarded the door of the coach till the station where the service terminated.

india Updated: Aug 21, 2019 17:36 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
File photograph of a metro train in Kolkata,
File photograph of a metro train in Kolkata,(Twitter)

One of its doors wide open, a train of the Kolkata Metro ran its entire route of 25.1 km during rush hour on Wednesday with Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel guarding the door.

When the train started its journey at 10:41 am from Dumdum, it was noticed that the door was not closing.

Trains are not supposed to move till all its doors are securely closed, but the authorities decided to deploy guards at the door and run it till Kavi Shubhas station in New Garia where the service terminates. About two-thirds of the route runs underground.

“We did not detain the train so that thousands of passengers are not inconvenienced during the rush hour. Officials will take a hard look at how it happened,” said Indrani Banerjee, spokesperson of the Metro. She added that there was no complacency in the maintenance of the country’s oldest metro.

“The door would not close throughout the journey. Security personnel stood at the door during the trip,” Ranjan Neogi, a passenger told the media. Two guards were at the door.

“When the door would not close, mechanics arrived and tried for about 15-20 minutes to fix it. The train was packed,” said Surajit Biswas, another passenger.

The train was taken out of service and taken to a car shed for examination.

On July 13, Sajal Kanjilal (56), a resident of south Kolkata died when his hand was caught in a door of a metro coach. With Kanjilal’s entire body outside the door, the train dragged him a few feet inside the tunnel before he fell on the tracks and died.

Passengers had told the police and the media that Kanjilal was trying to board the overcrowded coach but the automatic door closed while his hand was inside the train. The incident took place at Maidan station that is almost midway between New Garia and Noapara, the two terminal stations of Kolkata metro.

After the mishap in July, there was a hue and cry and a high-level probe into the safety issues followed with the authorities taking a few steps such as close vigil by RPF personnel on platforms so that passengers do not rush to catch trains just when the train is about to move.

The country’s first underground rapid transit system, Metro service started in Kolkata in 1984.