How safe are the Metro stations and the staff quarters built on the banks of river Yamuna? In the wake of the recent incident of building collapse in Laxmi Nagar that claimed 70 lives, Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC) has pressed the alarm bell about the susceptibility of these infrastructures on the “most-vulnerable” zone in Delhi.
The Yamuna Bank Metro Station and Depot, Shastri Park Metro Station and Depot and Akshardham Metro Station are reportedly under threat.
DUAC officials said these Metro stations may meet the same fate as that of the multi-storeyed building in Laxmi Nagar. Prima facie, it was found that the building was weakened by Yamuna floodwaters.
DUAC chairman KT Ravindran said, “Yamuna is running on the faulty lane due to which river water may bring down the volume of soil and cause collapse of constructions. Besides, the Yamuna bed is also prone to earthquake. All constructions on river bed are vulnerable.”
Almost a week before the incident, NGOs — Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan and Tapas — had demanded relocation of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation's (DMRC) upcoming staff quarters near the banks of Yamuna, raising concerns of threat.
“It is surprising that the river bed has been blatantly encroached by the DMRC to construct Metro stations, yards and residential colonies in contravention of the master plan. Initially, only Akshardham was to come up on the eastern part. But the Commonwealth Games village was also allowed to be built later,” said Sanjay Bhargava, a social activist.
Denying the allegations, a DMRC spokesperson said, “We have the necessary permission from the DUAC to build 90 staff quarters.” Mangu Singh, director (works), DMRC, said: “Any construction designed properly is safe even if on sand bed or under water.”
Pradeep Chaturvedi, former chairman of Safety and Quality Forum, said: “DMRC should get the soil checks done by an independent agency before coming up with any construction on the river bed.” It was learnt that the DMRC had done the checks on its own. National seismic advisor AS Arya, said: “This is a matter of grave concern. The government should involve designing experts to find out if Metro constructions are properly designed.