Serious design deficiency led to metro mishap: Jaipal Reddy

Serious design deficiency led to metro mishap: Jaipal Reddy

The accident  that took place on July 12 at the Delhi Metro site. APFollowing an enquiry, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) 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 (CPI) 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 (BJP), who raised the matter during Zero Hour, said though DMRC was doing well and Delhi 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.

The contractor M/S Gammon India would be issued "a show-cause notice for blacklisting for two years", Reddy said, adding that two Deputy Chief Engineers V P Srivastava and Mukesh Thakur, who were directly responsible for designs and site supervision, were suspended.

While Chief Engineer (Design) Rajan Kataria was being issued a "major penalty chargesheet", expatriate consultant of General Consultants C Mallonga has been "immediately demobilised and replaced", the Minister said.

DMRC Director Vijay Anand, in whose jurisdiction the accident took place, has been repatriated to the Railways.

The DMRC, he said, has started a special drive to check all cantilever piers constructed so far and their designs were now being rechecked by M/S Shirish Patel and Associates, a well known design consultant.

"Based on their advice, necessary action will be taken to ensure that all the cantilever piers are safe," Reddy said.

The DMRC has also decided to get all designs checked in future by the General Consultants or by an outside consultancy and strengthen its own design wing substantially.

The General Consultants were also being strengthened to ensure safety and quality of construction, Reddy said.

He said 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 work force will be covered within a period of 15 days," Reddy said.


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