Chennai

CMRL takes the fight to birds

The Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) is preparing for a battle with angry birds. There is no catapult this time; instead, modern battle axes have been lined up below — ultrasonic bird repellers and strobe lights.

CMRL has had to resort to such devices after it found that birds roosting on the rafters of its depot in Koyambedu have been littering its fancy trains with their droppings, damaging the modern rakes. The depot of the Chennai Metro Rail in Koyambedu, spread over 26 hectares, houses 36 trains.

According to sources in CMRL, the presence of uric acid in the droppings corrodes the metal surface of trains. “On one occasion, while a bird was trying to create a nest, it pulled out a few things, including a wire, and a hole was created on the train’s roof. Since it was small hole, about 7-9 mm, it was repaired. To set things right, we plan to have ultrasonic bird repellers and bird strobe lights that will prevent birds from entering the depot,” an official said.

At first, two such repellers and some lights will be installed in the depot. If needed, more will be acquired for the stations too. “Currently, there isn’t too much of a problem at stations as trains halt for less than a minute,” he added.

The Chennai airport too had been grappling with problems caused by pigeon droppings inside terminals and sought the help of members of the Narikurava community to get rid of them.

Global phenomenon

K. V. Sudhakar, president of Madras Naturalists Society, said bird droppings have can damage the paint work on cars too.

“In some parts of the world, they have damaged monuments too. For instance, Rome’s historic buildings were covered with droppings and the government had a tough time cleaning them,” he added.

Closer home, last year, Taj Mahal’s surface was disfigured due to insect excrement.

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 9:33:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/cmrl-takes-the-fight-to-birds/article19621926.ece

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