Commuters availing of metro railway services during office hours had a harrowing time today after the services were suspended almost for an hour following the detection of a crack on the tracks.

It all began around 9.20 in the morning, soon after a Noapara bound metro train crossed Shyambazar station. Passengers were panic stricken as the train jolted with a loud thud, seconds after it left the Shyambazar station. The motorman suspecting something unusual on the tracks at once alerted the control room. The officials soon sprang into action and switched off the power to the third rail. This was followed by the suspension of services between Girish Park and Kavi Subhash.  Engineers got down on the tracks to detect the cause of the sound. A crack was spotted on the rails between Belgachia and Shyambazar station.

Meanwhile, truncated services ran between Girish Park and Kavi Subhash until normal services were  restored at 10 15 am. The disruption of services led to long queues of passengers at different stations.

Mr Sujay Verma of Howrah who was on his way to his office at Dum Dum missed his morning meeting; "I was to reach Dum Dum by 10 am, but now it seems unlikely that I would even make it by 11.  I may receive a dressing down from my boss."

Mrs Rituporna Banerjee, a homemaker blamed the metro railway for poor maintenance. "They should regularly conduct mock drills and inspections. This is not the first instance of disruption and this would certainly be not the last. Disruption of services hits passengers," she said.