In spite of FIRs, the police have failed to zero on the perpetrators hence the notoriety continues. Though Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has said that the theft will not affect the daily commute since backup cables are available, but this raises serious safety concerns, the report said. Stretches, where thefts have been reported, include Okhla Vihar to Jamia Nagar, Okhla Vihar to Jasola Vihar, Jasola Vihar to Kalindi Kunj.
In its three months of operation, the Botanical Garden-Kalkaji Mandir section of the Delhi Metro Magenta Line has been continually targeted by the thieves. A few months into operation, at least 15 cases of cable theft have already been recorded in this section. Around 3750 meters of cable has been stolen which is worth somewhere around Rs 2 crore, an HT report states.
Since these sections are situated on an elevated plane, CCTVs have not been placed on those points. Officials suggest that all these thefts take place during the night after the metro services are terminated. These cables laid across the viaduct supply power to the station as well as the Kalindi Kunj depot for trains, DMRC said. The thefts have not hampered the metro services because the cables are laid on the viaduct in two separate circuits where if one stops the other can be used readily. But these cables are neither readily available nor can they be laid down completely once a section is open to the public, DMRC spokesperson further said.
The thieves are able to cut the high power cables easily because of an anti-electrocution feature where an earth coating on the cables trip the power supply. Though the mechanism was used to prevent electrocution to avoid untoward situations, but this is being misused by the thieves for their amoral jobs.
To prevent such incidents in the future, guards have started patrolling certain sections and DMRC further plans to raise the fence near the ramp and install CCTV cameras in the theft-prone zones.