Kolkata’s East-West Metro promises a Safer Journey, thanks to Pushback Doors, Mirrors, Screen Gates

KOLKATA: The safety index of Kolkata’s state-of-the-art trains on the East-West Metro route will be much higher compared to that on the 35-year-old north-south corridor.

To begin with, convex mirrors recommended by the Commissioner of Metro Railway Safety (CMRS) during his probe into Saturday’s accident at Park Street station, are being installed at six East-West Metro stations on the 5km Salt Lake stretch. On Tuesday, convex mirrors were being installed on the edge of the platforms at Central Park station.

During his probe, commissioner of Metro railway safety, Janak Kumar Garg, recommended these mirrors for the north-south line. The mirror at the edge of platform will help the driver see what is happening outside the coaches behind him.

The standard gap between the door leaves of the East-West Metro rake is 15mm, beyond which the train will stop. The north-south rake, in which Sajal Kanjilal’s fingers got stuck, apparently has an obstruction gap higher than 15mm. Unlike the north-south trains, the ones on East-West route will have ‘intelligent sensitive edge’ on doors. This technology reacts to dragging incidents on the platform to prevent accidents.

The doors have a feature called ‘pushback system’ to let a commuter inside the coach increase the gap up to 30mm (beyond the 15mm permissible limit) in case of emergencies.

“If the north-south Metro is equipped with such a system, it will considerably reduce delays and increase safety,” an expert said. He said the East-West Metro doors are so technologically advanced that a situation like Saturday won’t happen. “A commuter must cross the platform screen gates (PSG) installed in the East-West Metro stations,” he added.

The CMRS has also asked Kolkata Metro authorities to install upgraded emergency talk-back units in the north-south section. The East-West Metro coaches have an extremely efficient talk-back system. Each East-West Metro station is equipped with 37 IP-based CCTV cameras that will be connected on board as the rake moves at 80kmph. The third rail current connector, through which electricity is transmitted, is far more advanced and safer, said an official. “Moreover, every station has an emergency stop plunger (ESP) so that a passenger can switch off the power in case of exigency,” he added.