The Metro to Ghaziabad has given commuters reason for cheer. However, the question begging an answer is: how safe would commuters be when they take the Metro from Anand Vihar to Vaishali, beginning today?
For, the Metro track — on this 2.5km stretch — has been constructed below several high-tension wires. According to residents, there’s only a few feet’s distance between the Metro’s overhead wire and high tension wires.
In at least eight places between Kaushambi and Vaishali stations, the Metro track has been constructed perpendicularly below high-tension wires, making it a virtual death trap for thousands of commuters, feel residents.
“According to Indian Electricity Rules, 1956, there should be at least 21feet vertical clearance between any construction and high tension wires. In case of the Metro, this distance should have been maintained,” said a senior officer of Delhi Transco.
An engineer of Indian Railways said a distance of 5.5metres (about 21ft) should be maintained between the Metro track and high-tension wires.
Meanwhile, residents claim that in some places, the distance is less than 21 feet.
“Near the Income Tax building, the distance would be 10-12 ft. Even if adequate distance has been maintained, it’s not safe, as high-tension wires are crisscrossing the line,” said Uttam Manchanda, a resident of sector 4, Vaishali.
However, Satish Kumar, director (electrical), DMRC said, “High-tension wires have been shifted to at least 5 mt (19 ft) above overhead electrification (OHE) of the Metro and it is absolutely safe now.”
Recently, a live high-tension wire had fallen in the East Delhi area, causing heavy damage to human life and property. Experts point out that high-tension wires crossing the Vaishali Metro eight times, within a span of 500metres, could be a major safety challenge.