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Sunday’s sorrow: Who’s responsible?

Delhi Metro Railway Corporation has not yet fixed on anyone the onus for the Zamrudpur collapse even as two more inquiry committees to be formed to look into the collapse. HT Correspondent reports.

delhi Updated: Jul 15, 2009 02:32 IST
HT Correspondent

A second major structural collapse in just nine months, a major dent to the organisation's image and fingers pointing to whether the long corridors of the Delhi Metro running just above our heads are actually safe?

These are the issues you imagine must be giving Metro officials sleepless nights.

Yet, heads have still not started rolling at the Delhi Metro Railway Corporation (DMRC). DMRC chief E.Sreedharan admitted moral responsibility and resigned, though later withdrew the resignation, within hours of the accident. But the agency failed to fix responsibility for the accident.

According to a structural expert associated with DMRC projects, the structural engineers who designed and cleared the cantilever and engineers who approved repair of cracks in the pier should be held responsible for the accident and should have been removed from services.

“It is clear now that the cantilever was faulty. Why DMRC is not taking any action against the engineers concerned is surprising," said the structural consultant requesting anonymity.

"We are waiting for the report of the inquiry committee before fixing accountability and taking any action," DMRC spokesperson Anuj Dayal said. Gammon India, civil contractors for the section, has already washed its hands off the matter, saying they were not responsible for the accident.

Delhi police, however, have already registered first investigation report against chief site manager, site engineer and another employee of Gammon India for negligence.

When a launching girder had come down on another under-construction elevated structure near Laxmi Nagar in east Delhi in October last year, DMRC was quick enough to remove one assistant engineer, the in-charge for the civil works on that section, from his services and had suspended one junior engineer for showing laxity towards his work.

Afcons Infrastructure, the contractor for the section, had also removed the project manager of the section and the deputy projection manager from the DMRC projects.

Two more committees

While one committee will do an independent safety audit of all cantilever structures, concrete projects on top of pillars on elevated portions, pillars and other civil structures, the other committee will look into the reasons why the two cranes brought in to remove the mess after the structural, collapsed.

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has roped in M/s Shirish Patel and Associates, considered experts in civil structures, to conduct the probe.

DMRC spokesperson Anuj Dayal said the committee would do a check on seven cantilever spans across its projects on priority. Phase 2 of Delhi Metro will have about 95-kilometre of elevated corridor of 125-kilometre expansion.

DMRC has also appointed BP Singh, former general manager of National Aluminum Company Limited, to look into the crane collapse.

DMRC officials said the mishap occurred following mechanical failure in one of the four cranes brought in to remove 260-tonne launcher from the accident site.