New Delhi: For the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), a lot of its initial plans have had to be technologically upgraded with new-age driverless trains rolling into the Capital. The most significant changes, however, have been made in the depots that would house these trains.
Out of the six depots that are coming up under Phase-3, the DMRC has kept three of them exclusively for these high-tech trains. “The new metro depots have been equipped with state-of-the-art facilities like retractable Over-Head Electrification (OHE) system in the inspection lines. This kind of technology is used in very few systems worldwide, and is being used for the first time in India,” said Anuj Dayal, chief spokesperson of DMRC.
Currently, the provision is available only at the new Mukundpur depot which is meant for maintenance of trains on the Pink line (Majlis Park-Shiv Vihar), but the under-construction Vinod Nagar and Kalindi Kunj depots will also have this facility. In a conventional system, the Inspection Bay Lines (IBLs) have the provision of 25 kV power supply through flexible OHE system which is installed at about 1 meter height above the roof of the train, posing danger to workers.
Apart from this, the Vinod Nagar depot, which caters to the Pink line, and the Kalindi Kunj depot for the Magenta Line (Janakpuri West – Botanical Garden) are being built on elevated decks for better space management. A metro train depot generally requires about 2.5 lakh square metres space for the setting up of stabling lines, inspection bays, workshops, washing plants, and so on.
“For both Vinod Nagar and Kalindi Kunj depots, the space was inadequate. Therefore, vital components are being built on elevated decks,” said an official. All the existing eight metro depots have been constructed at grade level.
The Mukundpur depot has been built on two patches of land with a road dividing them. “The depot has been constructed on lands of Delhi Jal Board, Delhi Development Authority and Public Works Department. Initially, we faced severe confrontation from locals as a road running right through the middle of the depot was to be shifted to one side. But they did not agree, so we had to build an underground pass under the depot,” said Mr. Dayal.
Several other features have been introduced for safety of workers. “Every pole with motor equipment has also been equipped with additional emergency stop buttons. Besides, a sewage treatment plant with a capacity of 10 kilolitres per day has been built in all the depots,” said a metro official.
Mr. Dayal said that due to the hindrance caused by the fixed OHE, any heavy-duty maintenance from the rooftop of a train cannot be performed in the IBLs because of which trains have to be shifted to workshop bays in depots by pulling and pushing through polluting diesel- or battery-powered shunters.