CHENNAI: Barely a day after Metro Rail services were started along the newly inaugurated stretch from DMS to Washermanpet, trains have been delayed for close to six hours due to the tripping of overhead electricity cable at Saidapet- Little Mount station.
Passengers who thronged the stations for a free ride on Monday were left disappointed as only one line was functional along this stretch resulting in a long waiting time.
Problem occurs for the first time in five years
Sources privy to the issue said that this particular technical glitch was a very rare one and has occurred for the first time in five years in Chennai Metro Rail. The problem was detected at the ramp located between Saidapet and Little Mount stations around 8.30 on Monday morning. “Pantograph which is an apparatus mounted on the roof of the train got tangled with the overhead cable which caused a trip in the electricity line. Because of this four trains in total came to a halt. Trains services from Little Mount Central, from DMS to Airport and those via Koyambedu will also be disrupted till afternoon,” said the source.
When Express contacted CMRL officials, they confirmed the delay in services and said that the maintenance team is looking into the issue and the glitch will be rectified soon. “Services between Washermanpet and Airport will be affected. The problem is being rectified by our team. Services will be soon functional. Other services are running as usual,” said the official.
An official note from CMRL said that due to technical glitch, train services between AG-DMS and Airport via Little Mount are running with delayed frequency. "All Routes between Washermenpet to AG-DMS in the Blue Line and Central to St.Thomas Mount in the Green Line and Central to Airport are going as per schedule," added the note.
Sources said that a device called section insulator which helps in separation of two electrical feeds while allowing the Pantograph to pass, is not working at Saidapet station. “The impact of this problem could have been minimised if the section insular was working at Saidapet. Because of this services from DMS has to be suspended temporarily. Officials were in a hurry to open the new stretch and such issues were overlooked,” added the source.
Frequent technical problems
Instances, where trains have abruptly stopped, have been increasing in CMRL said members from the CMRL Employees Union. As contract workers who lack proper technical training are directed to fill the posts of station controllers and loco pilots, trains have been abrupting halting said employees.
“Recently, a beam was broken along the tracks as the driver, a contract worker, did not have the qualifications to operate the train. A week ago services along Airport stretch were halted for two hours because of this,” said Elangovan, secretary of the union.