January 31st, 2015
BENGALURU: In a gesture that went above and beyond the line of duty, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) blocked power to a part of their network, halting rail operations for four minutes between 10.23 and 10.27 am on Saturday morning at Mantri Square Sampige Road station at Malleswaram. This was done to rescue a juvenile kite bird that had fallen between the railway tracks close to a high power line. But Pradeep Singh Kharola, MD, BMRCL ordered a ‘power block’ as soon as he heard the news.
The traumatized bird was first noticed by commuter Felix Raviprakash as he was waiting for a train to Peenya at 8:30 a.m. He informed of the issue to a wildlife volunteer, through whom the news reached the BMRCL officials. Since the bird was alive, the only option was to switch off the power. BMRCL took a call immediately and power was switched off on that 130-metre stretch.
The wildlife volunteers along with station controllers went on the railway track and rescued the petrified bird. The rescue operation lasted four minutes in which time all activity at the station came to a standstill.
“A life is more precious than rail operations getting halted for a few minutes and it was an immediate decision,” said Vasanth Rao, GM(finance), BMRCL, who was overseeing the rescue operation.
Once the tracks were cleared, the power was turned back on and the baby kite was delivered into safe hands.
There has been a far-reaching consequence of this amazing act of humanity. All stations will now display the name and number of wildlife volunteers so that passengers are aware of whom to contact in such situations.
TLI applauds the thoughts and efforts of BMRCL officials who valued a bird’s life more than it’s business operations and functions. We also appreciate Felix’s efforts to save a bird sans the ‘ why should I bother’ attitude.