Delhi Metro train stops on track, thousands stranded at stations

Thousands of Metro commuters in the capital had a harrowing experience today as services were disrupted for nearly two hours after a train with 500 passengers stopped on tracks inside a tunnel while approaching a busy station due to a technical fault.

New Delhi: Thousands of Metro commuters
in the capital had a harrowing experience today as services
were disrupted for nearly two hours after a train with 500
passengers stopped on tracks inside a tunnel while approaching
a busy station due to a technical fault.

Hundreds of people, who had hoped to go to their
relatives places to celebrate Raksha Bandhan in Metro, were
stranded at several stations in the city. DMRC is running 180
extra trips today on the occasion.

The 500 passengers, including children and women, were
stuck inside the train for around 90 minutes after it stopped
on the tracks a few meters before the busy Rajiv Chowk station
due to a problem in its pantograph, the equipment which draws
power from the Overhead Electrification Line.
Commuters spent anxious moments after they were stuck
inside stationary trains across the city on the underground
line without power supply as well as in stations for more than
an hour.

Several passengers complained that they were not given
any information regarding the problem.

DMRC spokesperson Anuj Dayal said the train abruptly
stopped due to a problem in its pantograph.

He said the affected train was removed from services
at 01.11 pm with the help of another train and about 500
passengers traveling by it were deboarded at the Rajiv Chowk
Metro station.

"Normal services on the corridor were then resumed,"
he said.

However, passengers alleged that the services resumed
only after 2 PM.

Soumya, a college student, who was travelling with her
mother, said, "I was travelling to Jangpura from
Jahangirpuri. I was to deboard the train at Central
Secretariat. But when the train approached the Rajiv Chowk
station it stopped on the tracks. We got panicky and there
were just announcements that there was a problem," she said.

It all started on the Central Secretariat-Jahangirpuri
line at around 11:30 am after the train`s pantograph, which
provides electricity, developed a technical fault.

"The train got stuck inside the tunnel. Another train
pushed it to Central Secretariat station where it was to
terminate its services," Dayal said.

During this period, trains were run in short loop
between Jahangirpuri and Kashmere Gate. Two trains were run in
short loop between Jahangirpuri and Rajiv Chowk as soon as the
affected train cleared Rajiv Chowk, he said.
The scene at Rajiv Chowk station was that of chaos as
anxious passengers stuck inside the train made desperate
attempts to get out of it as fast as they can.

"With no light inside the train as well as the air
conditioner was not working, it was suffocating," said Mukesh
Rawat, a bank employee.

Passengers were seen banging on the doors from inside
the trains when the doors did not open. They were later taken
out through the emergency exit.

"It was a horrific experience for me. I thought the
world was ending. We were stuck inside the tunnel for how much
time I don`t know," said Somesh Sarangi, a Delhi University
student, said.

The train could not move out of the station due to
this following which Metro halted its operations on the line.

A large number of people were stuck at Rajiv Chowk and
Kashmere Gate stations. These stations serve as junctions for
getting into other lines.

Police personnel were also deployed in busy stations
to control the rush of passengers while the entry into
stations like Rajiv Chowk and Kashmere Gate were restricted.

At the Rajiv Chowk station guards did not allow people
alighting from the Line 3 (Dwarka Sec9-Noida City Centre) to
go to the underground platform.

Sarangi, a journalist, who came from Janakpuri to
Rajiv Chowk said he got stuck inside the station for around 40
minutes and it was a scene of utter chaos.

"There were announcements every five minutes that the
services would begin soon. But there was no sign of it
resuming. People were not allowed to go to the underground
platform," he said.

The delay also poured cold water on DMRC`s plans to
run 180 extra trips today on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.
Every year, DMRC carries at least one lakh additional
passengers on the day. Metro operates about 2,200 trips every
day.

Passengers complained that there were delays on Line 3
(Dwarka Sector 9 to Noida City Centre/Anand Vihar) too.

PTI

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