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Serious design deficiency led to Delhi metro mishap

July 28, 2009 16:28 IST
The recent accident at the Delhi Metro site in South Delhi that claimed six lives was caused by 'serious deficiency' in design and inadequate concrete strength, Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday.

Following an enquiry, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has blacklisted the design consultancy firm for five years, debarred the structural consultant for two years and issued a show cause notice to M/S Gammon India asking why it should not be blacklisted for two years, Urban Development Minister S Jaipal Reddy said in the House.

The DMRC also suspended two Deputy Chief Engineers, issued a major penalty chargesheet against Chief Engineer (Design), demobilised and replaced the expatriate consultant of General Consultants who was directly responsible for ensuring quality of work, he said.

The main findings of the probe into the July 12 collapse of a launching girder and a portion of a viaduct were that the accident was caused by "serious deficiency" in the design of the cantilever arm and that the concrete did not have "adequate strength probably due to lack of (its) adequate curing," Reddy said.

However, the Minister maintained that while DMRC has found visible cracks on 18 cantilever peers across the metro rail network, these were being thoroughly examined whether the damage was superficial or structural.

"In case, these cracks are structural, there are ways to repair them. I don't think there is any need to worry at all," the Minister said, adding that there has been "no accident" in the network throughout the first phase of its construction and operation.

Gurudas Dasgupta of the Communist Party of India expressed concern over reports that more cracks have appeared on the metro pillars and demanded a discussion on the issue as "it involves hundreds of lives".

Shahnawaz Hussain of the Bharatiya Janata Party, who raised the matter during Zero Hour, said though DMRC was doing well and Delhia Metro was a "dream project," government should take responsibility of the project.

He said even DMRC chief E Sreedharan had himself pointed to the "corrupt tender system". Replying to their concerns, the Minister said in the last seven years of the first phase of metro work, "not one accident has taken place."

He said accidents were unfortunate but under global safety benchmarks, "we are slightly behind London and ahead of Singapore."

Referring to the action taken by DMRC, Reddy said design consultants M/S Arch Consultancy Services was blacklisted for five years, the structural consultant M/S Tondon Consultants "who did not give the correct advice to DMRC" was debarred for two years.

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