Sunday, Jun 26, 2022
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The Metropolish

This Christmas eve, Santa brings a metro rail more advanced than Tokyo's or New York's

The Metropolish
Gireesh G.V.
The Metropolish
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

But exactly four years after taking charge in a makeshift cabin with a table and a chair, Sreedharan is counting the days to December 24: when imported trains will roll on the first 8.3-km stretch of the 62-km, Rs 10,000-crore network that makes up Phase I. At the headquarters, the specially-devised digital clocks in all officers' rooms are now down to a single digit, weekly meetings have become a daily exercise, officers—especially the electrical engineers—work till 1 am, while at the six stations, others do the last detailing: laying out lawns, painting kerbs, training the 300 sahayaks who'll assist the commuters on one of the world's best metro systems. The four trains, especially designed and manufactured by a Japanese-Korean consortium, make endless practice runs while sahayaks go ceaselessly through the automated ticketing system or up and down the sari-proof escalators.

In the training school nearby, 100 cops, including policewomen, are learning the ropes of keeping the peace in a state-of-the-art metro, while securitymen from an international agency take up positions. Senior police officials promise high-level vigilance all along the route. Passengers will have to pass through metal detectors. "In addition to the women security personnel, we are planning to have cops inside the coaches for safety of women passengers and also from the terrorist threat point of view," says a senior official. Each coach has wireless systems by which passengers can communicate with the driver in emergency situations. The driver will in turn call up the operational control centre and alert the next station where a rescue team will take charge.

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