Power Supply glitch halts Mumbai and Kolkata Metro Rail services

For nearly two hours and 15 minutes, passengers had a harrowing time on the Mumbai and Kolkata Metro Rail systems

MUMBAI / KOLKATA:  Metro Railway services in top two Metros of India were disrupted for 2 hours 15 minutes during peak hours of Thursday owing to a major breakdown in power supply, causing commotion among passengers.

Electricity supply to the Kolkata Metro Railway was disrupted for 2 hours 15 minutes from 9.53 AM following the major breakdown in supply by private power utility CESC, a Metro Railway spokesperson said here. There was panic among commuters as Kolkata Metro Rail services were disrupted due to a power breakdown.

“This is the first time in its history that Metro Railway services were affected owning to power failure, that all our four receiving sub-stations, which depend on supply from power utility CESC, failed,” said a Metro Railway spokesperson Indrani Banerjee. “No passenger was affected and everyone was properly evacuated at the stations,” Banerjee said. “None of the trains in motion during that period stopped inside the tunnels as the rakes rolled on to the next station on inertia and were stopped by the motormen at the designated platforms using pneumatic brake system,” the spokesperson added.

Likewise, Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Mumbai Metro passengers were also stranded on Thursday afternoon when the metro services came to a standstill due to a technical snag leading to overcrowding at platforms and passengers suffocating inside the metro. The metro services were disrupted for two hours and 15 minutes. A section of passengers in the rush hour trains were anxious at the power going off in the middle of the tunnels and also at the almost darkness at the platforms when the trains rolled into stations. Railway staff, including security men, used torch lights to help passengers in alighting from the trains at the platforms and to move outside in an orderly manner. “Around 12:45 pm, due to technical snag in overhead equipment between Andheri and Azad Nagar stations, there was disruption in train services.” It took half an hour for Mumbai Metro One officials to inform Mumbaikars about disruption over a micro-blogging site. “Trains were in normal operation between Ghatkopar and Airport Road stations. We continued to operate services on single line between Airport Road and Versova stations to minimise inconvenience to our esteemed commuters,” claimed the spokesperson.

There are a number of emergency lights inside every coach and these came on as soon as the regular power went off. The Metro system in the city gets its power feed from four substations and that even if three of these are shut down, it can run on supply from one substation. In Kolkata, all three units of the 750 MW Budge Budge power generating station of CESC here tripped at 9.53 AM following a network disturbance.