The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has blacklisted construction major Gammon India for two years. The move comes 16 months after the company was held responsible for a structure collapse at a Metro construction site on Central Secretariat-Badarpur section near Zamrudpur in South Delhi on July 12, 2009. Six people were killed in the accident.
In a letter issued to Gammon India on October 20, DMRC chief E Sreedharan has debarred the company from being associated with the DMRC for any kind of civil construction works for two years.
It means Gammon can not participate in any tender bidding that is likely to float soon for the proposed phase III expansion that was given in principle go ahead by state cabinet over a month ago.
Besides, Gammon India has also been directed to pay a penalty of R5 crore for the mishap in Zamrudpur that caused massive delay in completing line 6.
Neither Gammon India chairman Abhijit Rajan nor any other senior company officials were available for comment.
On asked why did DMRC take so much time to take the decision, a DMRC spokesperson said: “Gammon India was issued a show-cause notice immediately after the Zamrudpur mishap. After that they had sent a lengthy reply to the DMRC. A high-level committee formed with senior DMRC officers had scrutinised the response and then took the decision of debarring the construction company for two years."
However, sources said though the DMRC had immediately blacklisted two other firms — Arch Consultancy Services and Tandon Consultants — for the incident, it could not afford to debar the company for the past 16 months.Sources said debarring Gammon India would have led to missing of Commonwealth Games deadline for opening of Central Secretariat-Badarpur line.
On July 29 last year, Sreedharan had said: “We cannot debar Gammon India at the moment. They are involved in five major projects in Phase II. If we take them away, the projects will get delayed by six to eight months. Unfortunately, we don't have many big construction companies. Blacklisting Gammon at this point of time means floating tenders once again.”