The deadly coronavirus outbreak is forcing Chinese manufacturer CRRC Dalian to look at other avenues to get its rake for the Kolkata Metro Railway tested, an official said here on Tuesday.
A team of Chinese engineers was supposed to come to the city for conducting Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) tests of the first rake that arrived in March last year but it has now become uncertain, the official said.
Radio frequency interference is the conduction or radiation of radio frequency energy that causes an electronic or electrical device to produce noise that typically interferes with the function of an adjacent device.
At present there are 10 to 12 Chinese engineers here for coordination and integration of the Dalian-made rake, a metro official said, adding that they have been working here for the last six months.
The Railway Ministry placed an order for 14 rakes from Dalian for the Kolkata Metro Railway.
"They are involved in various tests of the rake for integration into the Kolkata Metro system and are working with engineers of the Metro Railway and the RDSO," the official said.
The RFI test of the rake was to be done by the manufacturer, but owing to the outbreak of the virus, the arrival of the experts has become uncertain, the official said.
"Engineers of an agency of Dalian was to arrive in the first week of March, but the outbreak has jeopardised the schedule," Kolkata Metro Railway spokesperson Indrani Banerjee said.
She said that since the RFI trials cannot be put off indefinitely, Dalian is consulting the Society for Applied Microwave Electronics Engineering and Research (SAMEER), which is under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology of the Union government, for the purpose.
SAMEER has expertise in conducting RFI tests and has done such trials for the Medha rakes manufactured by ICF Perumbur for the Kolkata Metro, Banerjee said.
These rakes are currently in service.
"Dalian is in talks with this company and the set of protocols to be followed are being discussed," she said.
"If the talks are fruitful and Dalian contracts the Indian company for the test, then the RFI trials can be completed without delay by March or April," Banerjee said.