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Blue Line crippled yet again as OHE falters

Thousands of commuters on Delhi Metro’s Blue Line were left stranded on Tuesday as services crawled for several hours on the snag-prone corridor due to issues in overhead wiring between Pragati Maidan and Mandi House stations.

Metro imposed speed restrictions on train operations due to the snag that developed around 11.20 am. By the time it was rectified around 2.45 pm, services were delayed across the over 50-km-long network owing to severe cascading effect. “It took around one-and-a-half-hours for me to reach Mandi House from Noida City Centre that takes around 30 minutes usually. At point it seemed the train was moving at not more than 5 km per hour and even announcements were not made at a regular interval,” a commuter said.

Due to speed restrictions, the overall system got majorly affected as trains usually have a frequency of around two minutes on this busy corridor. Overcrowding also spilled on to the platforms prompting many people to end their journeys halfway and take buses, autos or cabs.

It took time for normalcy to be restored even after the rectification of the snag, a metro official said.

“A speed restriction of 20 km per hour was imposed around 11:20 am between Mandi House and Pragati Maidan stations on the up-line towards Dwarka. It was done to address an Over Head Electrification problem,” the official said.

Blue Line services were last affected as recently on Christmas Day when a scheduled maintenance work had thrown operations out of gear for several hours.

The two branches of Blue Line (Line 3/4), that have gained considerable infamy due to frequent snags, connect Dwarka Sector 21 to Noida City Centre and Vaishali.

Metro authorities say the issues on the corridor like track circuit failure or snags in overhead wiring have much to do with its exposure to nature and as most of it is overground and gets affected by temperature fluctuations. With around five interchange stations along its length, Blue Line, metro’s busiest corridor, carries around 30 per cent of the total passenger volume or around 12 lakh commuters on a daily basis.
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