New Delhi: Alok Kaushik used to take an hour and a half to reach his office in Dwarka from Noida on metro, but on Friday he had a nightmarish experience as his travel time was almost doubled and he reached office late. Like Kaushik, thousands of commuters faced delays on Delhi metro’s Blue Line which suffered a technical snag that restricted speed of the trains.
“I boarded the train from Noida City Centre metro station for Dwarka sector-21. Today it took three hours to reach my destination. It was a horrible experience as the metro was running at a very low speed,” Kaushik, who is a banker, lamented.
A similar situation prevailed on the Yamuna Bank to Vaishali line which is a branch of the Blue Line.
A journalist Ajeyo Basu who lives in Nirman Vihar area of east Delhi said that despite running at a low speed the trains were also halting at the stations for much longer than the scheduled stoppage time.
“I took a metro train from Nirman Vihar which remained halted there for nearly 30 minutes; and again it kept standing at Laxmi Nagar metro station for another 15 minutes. I reached Noida Sector-16 metro station in one and half hours which normally takes just 25 minutes,” Basu told IANS.
According to officials of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), the metro rail services on the Dwarka-Noida City Centre/Vaishali route were disrupted at 9 a.m. on Friday due to track circuit failure near Rajendra Place Metro station.
The officials said that the trains on the Blue Line were running at restricted speed due to the technical snag.
“The normal average speed of Metro trains on this line is 35 kmph but due to Track Circuit Drop (failed) we are running the trains at a restricted speed of 25 kmph between Rajendra Place and Patel Nagar. This is also leading to bunching of trains on the track causing delay in services,” a DMRC official told IANS.
DMRC made three attempts to identify the problem but the technical team had limited access to the tracks.
The official said that the problem could not be rectified till late in the evening as the Track Circuit needs detailed investigation to identify the actual cause of the problem, for which access to the track is required for longer duration.
“We cannot stop the train service on the line due to which the engineers are finding it difficult to fix the problem. The repairing work will continue during the night and we will fix the problem by tomorrow (Saturday) morning,” the official said, adding, “Till then services will be delayed on the Blue Line.”
The Blue Line, which is 48 km long, is one of the busiest metro lines in the national capital. Nearly 7 to 8 lakh commuters travel daily on the Blue Line, with an average of 60 to 65 trains plying on the line.