Fault in power supply disrupts Mumbai Monorail services

Services on the Wadala-Chembur stretch halted for more than three hours due to a fault in power supply to the track cable; 11 passengers in a train remained stuck for nearly two hours before they were rescued by the fire brigade

The country's first Monorail came to a standstill on Sunday due to a disruption in power supply to the track cable. Services on the Wadala-Chembur stretch broke down for more than three hours and 11 passengers were stuckin a train midway before the fire brigade came to their rescue.

While the supply tripped at 7.58 am, fire brigade officials said they got a call around 9 am. They took an hour from then to rescue the 11 people trapped inside the train. Pic/Shadab Khan
While the supply tripped at 7.58 am, fire brigade officials said they got a call around 9 am. They took an hour from then to rescue the 11 people trapped inside the train. Pic/Shadab Khan

According to a press release by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which has built the Monorail, a power disruption between Bhakti Park and Mysore Colony stations at 7.58 am led to the disruption. The release said trains were not able to receive the 750-volt DC supply on which they run, causing them to stop midway.

Two trains, RST 5 and RST 9, stood motionless on the stretch. RST 9 (headed to Wadala) was nearing Bhakti Park and RST 5 (headed towards Chembur) had just left from Bhakti Park. Power was restored for a short while around 8.20 am, during which time which RST 9 managed to reach Bhakti Park and continue thereon.

However, the supply tripped again and RST 5 found itself stranded again. Since another train could not be brought to rescue the 11 people inside RST 5, the fire brigade had to be called. Trains have their own back-up power system, which supplies power to the lights and ventilation system, MMRDA’s release stated.

Fire officials said they got a call about the incident around 9 am, after which a skylift truck was dispatched to the spot. Evacuation took more than an hour. The 11 people included two women, two children and the Monorail driver, fire officials said.

MMRDA speak
Meena Kanthaswamy, head of operations and maintenance, Mumbai Monorail, “Power was restored at around 10.45 am, after which we conducted a couple of tests by running empty trains. Once the trains started running smoothly, we restored the service by 12 pm.”

Commenting on the issue, P R K Murthy, chief of transport and communication, MMRDA, said, “There was a technical glitch in the power supply of the track cable, as a result of which the train came to a halt. Thus, we had to take the help from the fire brigade to rescue the passengers. We are currently investigating the matter and will ensure such incidents are not repeated in future.”

The Monorail opened to much fanfare in February last year. In April, services on the Wadala-Chembur line were disrupted for 45 minutes due to a failure in the signalling system. Then, in November, 20 services had to be cancelled due to a technical glitch.

Politician speak

Devendra Fadnavis, chief minister
Looking into Mumbai Monorail breakdown incident. Appointed principal secretary (Urban Development) to immediately initiate inquiry.

Sanjay Nirupam, former Congress MP
The present government should come up with a back-up plan, so that such incidents are not repeated in future.

Kirit Somaiya, BJP MP
The work done by fire officials is worth appreciating. But there should have been an alternative power supply and disaster management system in place for Monorail.

131
Number of daily Monorail services, from 6 am to 10 pm

5,500
Average daily ridership at Chembur station, the maximum on the line

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