The train on Bengaluru Metro’s Green Line was moving from Rajajinagar towards Kuvempu Road in northern Bengaluru when it came to a sudden halt and was stationed there for around 17 minutes.

Bengaluru Metro halts for 17 mins in between stations Security lapse or tech issue PTI/ file
news Transport Monday, August 06, 2018 - 18:59

A metro train's unscheduled stop at a curve near the Rajajinagar station on Bengaluru metro's Green Line (Nagasandra-Yelachenahalli) on Sunday morning has raised many questions.   

The train was travelling from Rajajinagar towards Kuvempu Road in northern Bengaluru when the train came to a sudden halt and was stationed there for around 17 minutes, causing a delay for commuters. Reports have stated that the driver had stepped out and was accidentally locked out with commuters still inside the train.

Two versions of the incident have emerged. 

BMRCL Employees' Union vice-president Suryanarayana Murthy has claimed that the incident occurred since the train was being driven by a junior and inexperienced employee.

"The management chose to deploy a member of the emergency response team (ERT) instead of regular train operators. A solitary loco pilot was operating the train, that too, without an assistant loco pilot,” says Suryanarayana Murthy.

Contract train operators are trained for three months and have to clear an exam before qualifying to operate trains unlike the members of the ERT who are additional members. Suryanarayana describes the members of the ERT as "backdoor recruitments who are often inexperienced and unqualified." 

He has questioned BMRCL over its decision to deploy a member of the ERT instead of a regular train operator. 

According to sources in the BMRCL, the operator is supposed to reduce the speed when crossing a curve but since the operator was inexperienced, he did not do so and the train automatically halted mid-track.

"The train stops automatically when something like this happens and this forced the operator to step out,” added the source. 

The source claimed that the operator stepped out of the train to investigate why the train stopped and accidentally locked himself out of the driver's cabin in the process. 

The operator then used the pathway along the side of the railway tracks, which are used in emergencies, to walk to Rajajinagar Metro Station, a few hundred feet away. 

He obtained the spare set of keys from the station controller and opened the driver's cabin after walking back to the train, added the source.

The second version, according to officials at the Bengaluru Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) is that the train operator brought the train to a halt as a precautionary measure after observing a technical fault.  

“As a matter of abundant caution, the locopilot stopped the train and got down to inform the station controller. The station controller examined and found that the there was no technical issue and hence advised the loco pilot to proceed. The train then proceeded. In the process, there was a delay of 10 minutes,” BMRCL Chief Public Relations Officer UA Vasanth Rao said as per Deccan Herald.