Kolkata metro derailment: GM transferred

Close on the heels of an underground train stalling in a tunnel and two coaches of another derailing within a span of eight days, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee today transferred Kolkata Metro Railway General Manager Amar Nath.

Kolkata: Close on the heels of an
underground train stalling in a tunnel and two coaches of
another derailing within a span of eight days, Railway
Minister Mamata Banerjee today transferred Kolkata Metro
Railway General Manager Amar Nath.

Railway sources told PTI that P B Murthy, the General
Manager of Chittaranjan Locomotive Works has taken over as
the new GM of Metro Railway in place of Amar Nath, who will
now take charge as General Manager of Chittaranjan Locomotive
Works.
On October 20, two coaches of an underground train
derailed near the Central station with passengers having
to be evacuated through the door of the driver`s cabin by the
police and fire brigade.

Earlier on October 12, on the eve of the Durga Puja, a
train had stalled just before entering Sobhabazar station when
passengers had to be evacuated again. Angry passengers had
ransacked the station afterwards.

Meanwhile, Amar Nath told reporters here that this was
not the first time that a Metro coach had derailed.
"There were three incidents of derailment earlier.
There has been quite a gap between the last derailment and the
latest one because of the safety measures adopted by Metro
Railway. We cannot play with the lives and safety of
passengers," he said.

Nath said new rakes have been inducted which must
be used "properly" by passengers.

On reports that doors of the new rakes were
malfunctioning, he said, "The doors will not close if a coach
is overcrowded. So I appeal to the passengers to wait for the
next train if one train is overcrowded."

Stating that the RDSO was engaged in track upgradation
of the underground railway to facilitate speeds between 55 to
80 km, he said efforts were being made to run trains at
five-minute intervals.

Asked about complaints by some passengers of the
derailed train that they had experienced suffocation, he said
this was because of panic.

While asserting that the ventilator fans were
monitored closely, he admitted, however, that they were kept
inoperative when the number of passengers were less.
Nath said that a new study was on to upgrade the
ventilation system and install a new heat exhaust system.

The three-member Railway Board team, which
began investigations into the derailment of the two Metro
coaches, also visited the site of the derailment at the
Central station during the day.

They also spoke to the staff, including the driver and
guard of the derailed train.

PTI

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