Metro lays down guidelines to deal with emergencies

Three days after a Metro train broke down in a tunnel on the Jahangirpuri- HUDA City Centre line, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on Friday laid down guidelines on how to deal with such emergencies in future. DMRC Managing Director Mangu Singh issued the guidelines after a three-member committee that was constituted to look into Tuesday’s incident submitted a preliminary inquiry report into the incident.

As per the report, the emergency brakes of the train were applied because there was a problem in the software of the communication system which indicates the inter-linkage between coaches. “As a result of this break in communication, the train applied the emergency brakes as it was falsely reading as if the train was parted which it considered as an emergency situation and therefore it applied emergency brakes,” said a statement from the Delhi Metro.

Mr. Singh issued directions to DMRC engineers to examine the feasibility of having a secondary backup system for train lighting and ventilation in an emergency situation to ensure that lights and ventilations remain on. In the case passengers are stranded in the underground tunnel without lights and proper ventilation for more than 10 minutes, the DMRC’s operational managers have been asked to initiate evacuation of passengers in future.

Further, Mr. Singh decided that in such emergency situations the DMRC Operational Managers should normally evacuate passengers if they are not able to rectify the fault through local trouble shooting and in case a rescue train has to be thrust into service the same will be done on the orders of the Operation Control Centre (OCC).

The decision to evacuate passengers or use rescue trains will be taken keeping in view the above guidelines depending upon that particular location, situation and circumstances of that occasion, he said. The Delhi Metro will also ensure that the underground tunnel receives adequate lighting and ventilation and any natural obstruction should be painted with luminous paint to avoid acting as a hurdle for passengers during an evacuation process.

The DMRC will also launch a massive awareness campaign to cover the 2.2 million commuters using the Metro system to spread awareness about the procedures to be adopted during such emergency situations.

“Such a failure has happened for the first time and the same is being investigated by a team of engineers from DMRC and the manufacturer to avoid recurrence of such incident,” said DMRC Executive Director (Corporate Communications) Anuj Dayal.