By Shafaat Ahmed www.khaleejtimes.com
Dubai Metro came to a standstill on Saturday afternoon for around 20 minutes due to a door malfunction at Rashidiya Station.
Similar incidents of sudden stoppages in the middle of the track have been reported in the recent past, but the authorities feel that such minor delays and stoppages are normal in the running of a large rail network.
“Small delays and stoppages of trains due to minor problems here and there in the network are normal and can’t be avoided. It happens everywhere globally and is part of normal operations,” said the Peyman Younus Perham, Director Marketing and Communications at Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
He added that the trains had to be stopped for the safety of the passengers. “As there was a problem with a station door at Rashidiya we had to stop the trains.
We opened the door manually and then made the necessary repairs. It didn’t take us more than 20 minutes,” explained Perham.
Dozens of commuters complained of trains stopping at different stations suddenly in the afternoon. Some said it stopped for 20 minutes while others said it stopped for ten. People also said that they were unaware of the reason behind the stoppages even as they were stranded in the middle.
“We were going in the direction of Jebel Ali when our train first stopped at World Trade Centre, and it stayed there for nearly 20 minutes, then again it stopped for ten minutes at Emirates towers,” said Nerry Lobo, adding that passengers had no idea what was happening.
Maria Mohammed, who is a regular commuter of Dubai Metro claimed that there were delays on Friday as well.
“I was travelling with my family and we were heading towards Rashidiya when our train stopped at Jaffiliya for around 30 minutes. I could also see another train stranded at a distance,” said Maria Perham, admitted that some stations might have faced longer delays because of the necessity to keep minimum headway time of eight minutes, however, he denied being aware of any delays on Friday.