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Youth suicide throws Metro off tracks

Kaushik Bhattacharjee (22), a student of the Indian Institute of Leather Technology, leapt to his death on the Metro Railway tracks at Shyambazar station on Monday morning. A resident of Hudco Housing Estate, in Ultadanga, Bhattacharjee jumped onto the tracks as the Tollygunge-bound train was entering Shyambazar station at 11.36 am.

Kaushik bought a ticket and was waiting on the platform. Before he jumped on to the tracks, he was speaking on his mobile phone, eyewitnesses said. “His body was severed into two and the sight was horrifying,” recounted a Metro employee who helped extricate the body. Police officers said a mobile phone and a diary were found in his pocket.

Train services on the Down section had to be suspended for nearly an hour, the Metro Railway authorities said. Services on the Up section, too, were thrown into disarray. The train, under which Kaushik killed himself, finally left Shyambazar at around 12:30 in the afternoon. Services on the Down section resumed normalcy at 1.08 pm.

Metro officials said 17 trains had to be cancelled due to the mishap. Also, five Up trains had to be rescheduled. Office-goers had a harrowing time as a result. Commuters could not reach their destinations in time. Ticket counters, too, remained closed for some time.

With over 2.6 lakh passengers commuting daily on the Metro, it is impossible to keep track of passengers who are contemplating suicide, officials said. “We try to raise awareness among passengers by showing advertisements on the closed-circuit televisions at the stations, warning them against crossing the danger line,” said David Topno, chief operations manager, Metro Railway. “It is not practical that we keep a watch on each and every passenger and ensure that no one crosses the white line,” he added.

Rake review

Metro officials will review the technical aspects of the railway rakes. This was decided at a meeting between the Metro officials and Metro Rail employees’ union on Monday.

“We will review the maintenance schedule of train radio systems, door operations, motor coach operations and others,” said Ranajit Mitra, chief electrical engineer. “After a month, we will see whether the operations in these fields have improved,” he added.

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