CHENNAI: Passengers will be not charged to travel along the phase one metro rail stretch on Tuesday also. For services since Monday morning, Chennai Metro Rail did not charge passengers to travel along this stretch due to trial runs taking place on both corridors of phase one.
Those who were disappointed yesterday and couldn't get to ride in as trains were delayed due to severe technical glitches, can travel for free today. An official note from CMRL said this will be extended till Tuesday night as well. "Due to the ongoing trial runs in both corridors, charges are not being collected from passengers till February 12 night," said the note.
Despite, the long waiting time caused due to an overhead cable wire snapping at Little Mount station, thousands of eager passengers thronged the metro for a free ride. According to CMRL, 2,01,556 commuters travelled in the metro on Monday.
Apart from free rides,the newly inaugurated 9.9 kilometre stretch from DMS to Washermanpet was another reason for North Chennai resident to cheer. Now, passengers can travel to core areas in the city including Koyambedu, Central and Airport from Rs 50-Rs 60. “Usually, when I take a cab to reach from my house in Royapuram to reach my office near Mount Road I have to shell out close to Rs 300. Metro services are a cheaper and a faster alternative which can reduce traffic to a large extent,” said Ramesh Kannan, a resident of Royapuram.
But passengers who travelled in the metro yesterday had a harrowing time as four trains came to stop in the tracks after an overhead electricity power line got entangled with the apparatus mounted on the roof of the train. Services along DMS- Little Mount towards Airport and along the DMS-Washermanpet stretch were disrupted for close to six hours. By 2.30 pm, the glitches were rectified and all services were operational, said officials.
According to sources privy to the matter, in two out of the four trains that stopped in the tracks close to 70 passengers got down at Meenambakkam station at the platform safely. But around 100 passengers travelling in the two other trains behind were not as fortunate. “As the trains stopped in the ramp between Saidapet and Little Mount, passengers in those trains were made to walk along the walkway on the tracks. Though this type of a glitch has happened for the first time in five years, other errors related to rolling stocks, signalling and snapping of cables has occurred multiple times last year,” said the source.
“Why should the management put commuters in hardship by opening the line when its not ready yet? We had to walk along the tracks to reach the closest station nearby,” said Vignesh, one of the passengers who had to walk along the tracks on Monday.