M A I N   N E W S

Finally, Delhi Metro cracks the whip
Akhila Singh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28
Delhi Metro finally took action today against those responsible for the July 12 accident in Zamrudpur in South Delhi. The DMRC blacklisted two private consultants and suspended its own design officials.

DMRC chief E. Sreedharan told newsmen that both the contractor and the DMRC were responsible for the accident that killed six persons.

Earlier Urban Development minister S Jaipal Reddy told the Lok Sabha that steps have already been initiated to revitalise the Tool Box Safety Drill to all workers and begin a crash course for three days on safety rules and regulations. “The entire workforce will be covered within a period of 15 days,” the minister said.

The minister detailed Parliament on all actions the DMRC has taken on the report about the Zamarudpur accident and urged members not to “sensationalise.”

Reddy asked MPs to “draw a distinction between accidents at the place of construction and those during the operation” and noted that in this respect “we are a little behind the London Metro and ahead of Singapore.” A show-cause notice has been issued to the contractors of the Central Secretariat to Badarpur line, M/S Gammon India, asking them why they should not be barred from working with the DMRC for next two years. The contractor has been asked to reply to the notice in 21 days.

Sreedharan expressed his helplessness about barring Gammon India right away saying this would delay the project by another six months.

The design consultant to the Gammon India M/S Arch Consultancy Services has been blacklisted for five years and taken off from all metro works. Similarly, structural consultants, Tandon Consultants, were barred for two years for not giving “correct advice that misled the DMRC and the contractor”.

The expatriate consultant of General Consultants, C. Mallonga, who had direct responsibility for ensuring quality of the work, was immediately de-mobilised.

From its own staff, the DMRC has suspended two deputy chief engineers, V.P. Shrivastava and Mukesh Thakur, in charge of the Badarpur line.

Chief design engineer Rajan Kataria too has been issued a penalty chargesheet. Kataria who was earlier appointed a member of the inquiry committee to look into this accident, was removed halfway from this committee. “We had a clue that there might be some design faults. So, to ensure honest inquiry into the case, we took him out of the committee,” said Sreedharan.

Earlier, director of the DMRC, Vijay Anand, overall in-charge of the Badarpur line, was repatriated to the Railways.

The DMRC has decided to cut down the length of the exceptionally long cantilevers used on the accident line from the existing 4.23 meters to 2.5 meters now.

Sreedharan said the inquiry committee found that the required amount of steel was missing at critical points on the line. However, the report did not mention exactly what was wrong with the material. He added, “The inquiry committee report has been accepted in toto.” For strengthening the checks in future, the DMRC would have each design re-checked by special independent design consultants, General Consultants, before passing it over to the DMRC design office. Metro was conducting a re-check of all pillars involved in the construction work of Phase II and 18 cracks were detected during the check.

Even thought work on the Central Secretariats to Badarpur line would be delayed by three months because of the accident, Shreedharan said: The cracks would not cause any loss of time and the overall work of the Phase II of Delhi Metro would be completed before the Commonwealth Games. Sreedharan again denied the allegations that DMRC was doing a rush job. He said Delhi metro was taking around four years in completing one metro line when little more than two years were required to complete the work.



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