Kolkata: The city’s lifeline, Metro Railway, has literally gone for a toss!
Due to frequent snags and drop in punctuality, people have started comparing it to Bongaon Local ~ a suburban train in Sealdah division notorious for the excessive crowd and lack of punctuality.
In the latest addition to a series of snags in the recent months, a Kolkata Metro train today stopped midway into the journey between Dum Dum and Belgachia stations this afternoon.
It was an air-conditioned train that started at 12.58 pm from Dum Dum, which happens to be an over-ground station. Barely after moving a few hundred metres, the train came to a grinding halt as its frontal coaches had entered the underground tunnel.
Metro Railway spokesperson, Indrani Banerjee, later said that this happened due to a snap in power supply to the third rail from which a train draws electricity. The third rail is placed parallel to the Metro tracks.
The train’s crew and Dum Dum station staff tried for a while to restore the third rail power supply but failed.
Following this, both the state police and Railway Protection Force personnel evacuated the passengers through the rearmost cabin of the train.
The 1,500-odd passengers had to walk through the tracks to reach Dum Dum station. Due to the snag, Metro services between Noapara and Girish Park stations remained suspended till about 4 pm.
On 27 December some 50 passengers were injured after a Dum Dum-bound AC Metro train got stranded in the underground tunnel after departing from Rabindra Sadan station.
Since then, there have been several mishaps involving Metro trains ranging from fire in the undercarriage to disruption in the signaling system, etc.
So much so that starting 28 January, Metro authorities have reduced the number of trains by 16 a day to facilitate more time for maintenance of the rakes.
As a result, the interval between two trains has increased and punctuality has been taken for a ride.
Despite this, there is no end to the hiccups. The situation has come to such a pass that Kolkatans are no longer able to trust Metro Railway, which they have been relying upon since 1984 for its punctuality and safety.