Frequent accidents at construction sites, new coaches reporting snags and trains running late — is this the beginning of the end of Delhi Metro’s dream run?
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), which introduced the country’s best safety practices at construction sites, set new records in project completion and created a benchmark for work culture, is now struggling to live up to its own standards.
Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy mentioned in Parliament earlier this year that more than 100 people, including 93 workers, died since the DMRC began work in 1998.
There were some accidents in Phase I of construction, but the worst accidents happened in Phase II over the last year. With just three-and-a-half years to build six new lines in Phase II, DMRC is now being accused of compromising on safety of workers and the public in a rush to complete work.
A girder collapse near Laxmi Nagar in east killed two persons in 2008. Then a pillar collapsed near Zamroodpur in south Delhi killing six people.
Last September, the Delhi’s Labour Department in a survey found that the DMRC was “lax” in ensuring safety.
In five parts, HT looks at all that’s wrong with the Metro, like overcrowding, shoving and pushing on trains, lack of feeder services, (mis)behaviour of passengers, tells stories of commuters and seeks answers from authorities.