Metro breathes easy after high voltage rescue & relief operations

The timely services provided by Kochi Metro, connecting the city with the isolated Aluva town, helped transport relief materials, volunteers and manpower.

Published: 29th August 2018 01:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th August 2018 01:51 AM   |  A+A-

The submerged Muttom yard  Albin Mathew

By Express News Service

KOCHI:“She promises that you will not be left alone...”Thus says a post on the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd’s Facebook page. The agency posted it after resuming regular services post floods. Now, accolades are pouring in for Kochi Metro which played a pivotal role in rescue and relief measures the city witnessed for five days starting from August 14 midnight.

The timely services provided by Kochi Metro, connecting the city with the isolated Aluva town, helped transport relief materials, volunteers and manpower.“The situation across Kerala worsened by the afternoon of August 15. The disaster management committee of KMRL called an emergency meeting by 9.30 pm the same day, at the Muttom depot. By that time, travel through by road had become difficult. So the KMRL staff reached the Muttom yard in a special train. The meeting analysed that the water has started to enter the Muttom yard. The only option was to switch off the Receiving Substation there,” recollects the official spokesperson of KMRL.

Before shutting down the substation, KMRL evacuated the yard. The coaches were moved to the overhead viaducts so as to avoid damage in the flood. The entire evacuation process was carried out between midnight and 4 am on August 16, by which time the Muttom yard had become inactive.

“By then, Companypady and Aluva became totally isolated. Our prime focus was to manage emergency services to Aluva because it was difficult for the rescue team to reach the town by road. With the substation at Muttom closing down, the only other option for power to run the trains was the Kaloor KSEB substation. However, the KSEB station at Kaloor too was closed down after water entered its premises.”
A team led by the civil electrical engineers of KMRL joined the KSEB team. They jointly pumped out the water from the Kaloor substation. Finally, power was restored by 12.50 pm,” said the spokesperson.

Automatic Train Protection System affected
“Instead of the operation control centre at Muttom, three stations - Muttom, Pathadipalam and Palarivattom- acted as temporary control centres. The tracks were charged. The drivers manually communicated with the control centres. The services, conducted at a speed of 25 km/hour, were reinstated by 4 pm,” the spokesperson said.The average working time of the available KMRL staff during the flood-affected days was 16 hours.

Metro plays saviour
“Starting from 4 pm on August 16 to August 20, Kochi Metro transported nearly three lakh people and around 500 tonnes of relief materials to the camps in and around Aluva and Paravur,” said KMRL managing director A P M Mohammed Hanish.KMRL boasts of 519 staff, who also contributed one day’s salary to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund. Hanish said he will contribute a month’s salary to CMDRF


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