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Power glitch leads to chaos in Metro during peak hours

Chiranjeevi Kulkarni, Bengaluru, DH News Service, Jan 3 2018, 1:36 IST

Disruption in power supply brought Metro trains to a halt in the underground section of the Purple Line, leaving some passengers in a state of panic during rush hours on Tuesday.

The delays caused massive crowding at stations.

While some trains stopped at the station, others stopped in the tunnel where commuters suffered the most. Riders in a hurry to reach their workplaces could not communicate due to lack of mobile network in the underground sections.

A crowded train stopped at Cubbon Park station at 10.17 am. Even as commuters were wondering about the doors not opening, they began to feel suffocated as the air-conditioning went off. Some staff in the station told commuters to press the emergency button next to the door. The doors finally opened, much to their relief.

"I was travelling from Vijayanagar to MG Road, which usually takes 16 minutes. Today, I got on the 10.02 am train and it was 10.39 when I reached MG Road. The train got stuck for 10 minutes at Kempegowda station and in the tunnel before Central College," said Gurudev, a resident of Kamakshipalya.

Metro personnel had a tough time pacifying the impatient commuters as trains did not budge for five minutes.

The disruption continued several times during the day, with passengers in the evening peak hours also complaining of delays. "I got stuck at Central College station for more than 10 minutes," said Arvind, who was travelling from Mysuru Road.

Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd public relations officer U A Vasanth Rao said the delay was due to disruption in power supply between 10.02 am and 10.28 am. "Normalcy was restored and services were evenly distributed through short loop trips," he said.

Eyewitnesses said some passengers took exception to lack of information about the disruption.

"People are stressed inside the train but there is no information. Nobody is telling us what to do in such a situation. What happens if a passenger suffers a serious problem? Call your superior here," they demanded.

Woman faints

A woman who got stuck in the train fainted the moment she came out of the Central College Metro station. She was given first aid and regained consciousness after a while, a commuter said.

Meanwhile, commuters who suffered inconvenience demanded a refund of their ticket (token) fare. "Senior officials did not respond to repeated calls to the number given on the BMRCL website. There is a facility in the trains to communicate to the station control room but despite many attempts, there was no response from the station controllers," Gurudev said.

Overload

An official attributed the disruption to the increase of 10 additional trips on the line in the peak hours, which started from Tuesday. "Power is fed to the Purple Line from Baiyappanahalli receiving substation. Since the number of trains was increased, we suspect that the overload resulted in tripping of the feeder switch," he said.

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