All commuters to enjoy free rides on Chennai Metro rail today

Chennai: Passengers of Chennai Metro are enjoying free rides right from last night thanks to the ongoing final trial runs till Washermanpet which line was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami yesterday.
But, due to a small technical glitch which cropped up this morning, passengers, unfortunately, weren’t able to enjoy the offer to the fullest.
According to Chennai Metro Rail Limited spokesperson, due to the ongoing trial runs in green and blue line corridors, charges are not being collected from passengers from last night till tonight. But, when passengers eagerly boarded the trains this morning, they faced continued delays up to half-an-hour, especially on the Washermanpet-Airport line.
Today’s problem turned out to be unique as for hours officials were clueless about it, as per information from the spokesperson.
In addition to the major train halt incident at Ashok Nagar just a few days ago, Metro trains’ signalling systems witnessed series blockades not once but twice last year. In November 2018, Metro passengers underwent a series of train halts while on the move leading to a lot of hassles.
Many IT professionals, for whom Metro its and their feeder services are the only means of transportation, faced the maximum trouble. The issue started first at 7 am on 22 November when Metro trains halted between St Thomas Mount and Alandur station due to signalling and electrical issues in their software. But within two hours, officials sorted them out and trains began running as usual.
On 23 November, 2018, 6 am, the services between Central and Airport got halted shortly followed by the services between Koyambedu and Ashok Nagar facing a glitch. At a time when passengers long for the services to resume in an hour or two, they landed in another shock as the entire Koyambedu to Airport line got halted.  For three hours, between 6 am and 9 am, there was almost no proper movement of many Metro trains. Officials said the problems were due to traction supply malfunction and Metro train services commenced as per schedule from 6 am on corridor two with only short loop services between Chennai Central to Koyambedu, Koyambedu to Ashok Nagar and Ashok Nagar to St Thomas Mount to ease passenger inconvenience. Post rectification of the traction supply malfunction, normal services resumed from 9 am.
In September, last year, passengers went through a harrowing experience after Metro rail services affected three times in less than a week. Trains were halted after the signalling software got corrupted. The software is critical to automatic operations of the services including running of trains, working of systems like automatic fare collection (AFC) gates, schedule display screens and recorded announcements at stations.
OFFICIALS GALORE
When the last 10-km stretch of CMRL phase-1 from AG-DMS to Washermanpet was inaugurated by PM, CM, Governor and other officials from Tirupur yesterday, at Chennai Central Metro station, Union Minister Independent Incharge Hardeep Singh Puri, Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar, Social Welfare Minister V Saroja, Industries Minister M C Sampath participated.
Consul general of Japan Kojiro Uchiyama, chief representative of JICA India Katsuo Matsumoto, Members of Parliament S R Vijayakumar, T G Venkatesh Babu and J Jayavardhan, additional chief secretary to government T V Somanathan, ex-officio joint Secretary MOHUA, Mukund Kumar Sinha, director (systems and operations) L Narasim Prasad, director (finance) Sujatha Jayaraj, and director (projects) Rajeev Narayan Dwivedi, were present.

S Ben Raja