Simplex penalised Rs 1 cr for 4 mishaps

After endangering the lives of citizens on repeated occasions, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has finally decided to penalise Simplex Infrastructure Limited, the contractor deployed by the development agency for their various projects.

Shameful: One person was killed and eight others were injured when part of the under-construction freeway at Wadala collapsed. This was not the first accident at an MMRDA construction site manned by Simplex. File pic

Officials from the MMRDA are levying a penalty of Rs 1 crore on the firm for four accidents at its site, including the accident at the Eastern Freeway site in Wadala where two people were killed and six others were injured.

Confirming the same, an MMRDA official said, “We have decided to penalise Simplex to the tune of Rs 1 crore for the three accidents and the pothole at Lalbaug Flyover. On December 7, 2012, a letter regarding the same was also sent to the contractor.”

The letter (MiD DAY has a copy of it) reads, “All the four incidents reflect that you have not fulfilled your contractual obligations in regards to safety.

Since you are responsible for safety arrangements, operational efficiency and monitoring mechanism, a penalty of Rs 1 crore (in addition to whatever penalty has been levied so far) is hereby imposed upon you with strict warning that further such incidents would straight away lead to debarment for one or more years from bidding for MMRDA projects.”

When MiD DAY contacted Simplex, officials remained unavailable to comment on the matter.

>> Lalbaug flyover accident on December 2011: The rear trolley of a launching girder at the Lalbaug flyover fell, damaging cantilever portions of three segments on the east side. A Chunk of concrete fell on some of the vehicles moving along the road in the southbound direction. Two bikes, one taxi and one motorbike were partially damaged. Fortunately, no one was injured in the accident.
>> Pothole in June 2011: A pothole measuring approximately 30 cm x 30 cm and 25 mm deep was noticed on June 12, 2011 near pier P-18 on the north bound carriageway of the Lalbaug flyover.
>> Concrete slab fall, April 2012: On April 12, a concrete slab of about one foot fell from the Lalbaug flyover. Prima facie, it appeared that redundant concrete stuck between the fins gave away due to thermal stresses and vibrations due to traffic movements.
>> Eastern Freeway, July 19,2012: On July 19, 2012, a 50 metre-length of concrete slab that was being laid between pillars three and six on the bridge under construction on the Eastern Freeway, Wadala was held up by a crane. When the crane gave way, the concrete slab fell from a height of 15 feet and killed two people and injured six others. In addition to this 1 car, Transit mixer, 1 taxi and 1 oil tanker were damaged. 

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