Metro escalator to run with caution

The escalator at Dum Dum station that had reversed

Chandni Chowk: An escalator at Chandni Chowk Metro station that was closed for repair will be back in operation after two weeks on Thursday.

An observer will be stationed near the escalator all day to monitor how it functions. It will be shut down immediately in case of the slightest of glitches, Metro sources said.

The Metro Railway authorities, wary after an escalator at Dum Dum reversed direction on May 8, want to play safe this time around.

"We do not want to take any risks with passenger safety. In case of any problem in its functioning, the escalator will be closed for further checks," Metro spokesperson Indrani Banerjee said.

The escalator at Dum Dum Metro station, too, had been closed for repair before it malfunctioned.

A 24-year-old commuter was injured in the Dum Dum incident.

The escalator at Chandni Chowk was supposed to have been recommissioned on Monday but the Metro authorities decided to defer it as all checks had not been done, according to a notice at the station.

There is only one escalator at Chandni Chowk station. When it is shut, passengers have to take the stairs.

Around 30 out of 78 escalators at the city's Metro stations are more than two decades old and need to be replaced, an official said. Some of these have been in use since Metro service was introduced in Calcutta.

The escalator at Chandni Chowk is 22 years old.

Replacing the old escalators with new ones is difficult because it involves modifications in civil engineering structures at the older stations, Metro officials said.

The Otis-make escalator at Chandni Chowk is seven metres long but most new escalators are longer than that.

Thyssenkrupp is in charge of its upkeep. During repair and maintenance, rollers, bearings, screws and bolts were changed, the motor that keeps the stairs moving greased and the electrical circuit inspected.

"To install a longer escalator in its place would mean installing more stairs at the landing," the official said.


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