Namma Metro way ahead in tunnel safety

Adequate measures in place to tackle Kolkata-like situation; coaches equipped with batteries

Namma Metro way ahead in tunnel safety

 Even as 600 passengers were stuck for an hour in the Metro train tunnel in Kolkata on Monday, the officials of the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) are confident that they are better prepared to tackle in case such a situation arises  once the underground stations of Namma Metro become operational.

 Unlike the Kolkata Metro, all the coaches of Namma Metro are air-conditioned. In case of a mechanical failure, there will be no power failure inside the coaches as these are well equipped with batteries which can support the air conditioning and lights inside the trains for more than an hour even if the train is stuck on the tracks, sources in BMRCL told Deccan Herald on Tuesday.

 Also, the underground tunnels will still be lit up here unlike the Kolkata metro tunnel which went pitch dark after the train stuck on the tracks due to a breakdown.

To ensure passengers don’t feel claustrophobic, the tunnels will have a forced circulation system with huge blowers blowing fresh air inside the tunnel.

 The air vents and ducts are located on the ground level from where fresh air will be blown into the tunnels to avoid any vaccuum creation. The same blowers will also be used to bring down the temperatures inside the tunnels if  excess heat is generated due to any technical snag, they said.

 Also, walkways are being created all along the tunnels with railings for protection against falling on the tracks. The walkways are approximately one-meter wide giving enough space for people to walk in case of a train breakdown.

Power backup

In case of a complete power failure, the generator sets installed on all the platforms will be switched on and the driver of the train who is in constant touch with the central control room will make the announcement regarding power failure in the train. The driver will also inform which door will open and passengers will be assisted in moving out. At the same time, the power of the tracks will also be switched off just in case to save from sudden current flow.

 “ We have a series of safety measures in place to tackle any untoward situation. Our staff has undergone training to deal with such scenario and mock exercises have also been conducted. Soon, we will involve people in the mock drills so as to make them aware of the safety measures in place,” P S Kharola, Managing Director, BMRCL, said.

 The biggest advantage for Namma Metro is that the stations are located at a distance of one kilometre and hence the staff from the two nearest stations on both the sides can reach the spot in case the train is stuck midway.

 Another advantage is that all the underground stations have twin tunnels instead of one and both are connected with a crossover passage. In case of fire or smoke, people can very easily use the crossover passage specifically made for such emergency situations and walk to safety. Besides, there are emergency stop buttons both inside the trains as well as at the stations to stop the trains in case of any untoward situation.

Namma Metro Phase-I  has two underground sections connecting Reach-1 and Reach-2 in East-West corridor and Reach-3 and Reach-4 in North-South corridor respectively.

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