HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

Metro cracks serious, fix them: experts

Subhendu Ray, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 15, 2013
First Published: 00:28 IST(15/11/2013) | Last Updated: 00:31 IST(15/11/2013)

Engineering experts, some of them associated with the DMRC, have demanded a thorough investigation into cracks that have developed on some of the pillars of the Delhi Metro’s Blue Line, saying they pose a threat to public safety.

HT on Wednesday reported about the damage to seven pillars on the busy Dwarka-Noida line that carries 800,000 passengers a day.

Experts consulted by HT said the cracks were due to faulty design but the DMRC said there was no problem with the pillars.

“These cracks are very serious in nature and need to be thoroughly investigated,” said a structural engineer, who was part of phase 1 of Metro’s construction, on condition of anonymity.

The Delhi Metro, however, said the cracks on the pillars between Ram Krishna Marg, Jhandewalan and Karol Bag stations were marks left by a concrete repairing agent, epoxy.

Another engineer associated with the DMRC’s civil works, who too, did not wish to be named, said: “Repeated pattern of cracks howsoever small may be dangerous and pose a serious threat to public safety.”

Vijay Kumar, a retired Central Public Works Department (CPWD) engineer, said the cracks were not superficial but structural. “Surface cracks are non-uniform and not like the ones developed on these pillars.”

DMRC managing director Mangu Singh, however, said, “The reported cracks are not actually cracks but these are signs of epoxy used in repairing work done in the year 2005.”

The work was done when concrete slabs were being raised before the line was thrown open to public and was holding well, said Singh
Kumar countered that epoxy couldn’t bear such a huge load. He suggested the DMRC paste glass strips on the cracks to ascertain the gravity of the problem. “If the cracks widen, the glass strips will break.”

Delhi Metro should not give safety certificates to the pillars without thoroughly conducting ultrasound checks, said Pavan Gupta, who is a transport consultant with IIT-Kharagpur. On HT’s request he, too, had inspected the pillars.

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