So, what caused accident at metro site? Find out in 15 days

After authorities were flooded with criticism following claims that Tuesday’s debacle at a metro site in Andheri was caused by heavy rains, Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL), the operator, has stopped work along the entire corridor for three days in order to review safety measures.

Site of an under-construction project in Andheri
The spot: The site of an under-construction project in Andheri where a slab came crashing down while the concretisation of the staircase was going on. Pic/Nimesh Dave

However, taking serious note of the matter Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) commissioner Rahul Asthana said the issue will be raised in the MMOPL board meeting and MMRDA will ask the conglomerate to take strict action against the subcontractor.

Speaking to MiD DAY, Asthana said, “The incident that took place on Tuesday evening is unfortunate, but we will be bringing up this subject in the board meeting of MMOPL and we want MMOPL to adopt stern measures against the contractor.”

No easy answers
When asked what the reason for the accident was, Asthana said, “In the preliminary report prepared by the independent engineer, it has been stated that the collapse took place while the concretisation of the staircase was going on and that is when the scaffolding of the staircase slab came down.”

Yesterday, MMRDA appointed an independent expert committee — comprising professor of transportation systems engineering at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay Dr KV Krishna Rao and chief engineer from PWD SD Tamsekar — to probe the matter. “The panel will find out the precise reason behind the accident. The experts will prepare a report regarding the same, which will be submitted to us in the next 15 days.”

A source from MMRDA, who did not wish to be named, told this newspaper that in case of rainfall it is advisable for work like concretisation to be stopped. Authorities have to ascertain if such operations were going despite a steady downpour on Tuesday.

Time to stem the rot
The tragedy adds to the list of many more that have occurred in recent times at various under-construction project sites of MMRDA in Mumbai. Additional metropolitan commissioner SVR Srinivas said, “The accident is unfortunate but we will once again instruct the contractor that before doing work they should see to it that all safety parameters are in place and the procedures are carried out with such precision that no such incidents occur in future.”

It should be noted that the accident took place at the under-construction metro rail station near Andheri (E) where the subcontractor appointed by MMOPL is Hindustan Construction Company (HCC).

Meanwhile, Sahar police has registered a case against the supervising engineer and the architect overseeing the construction work. Cops said they are investigating whether more persons can be charged in the case.

“The accused have been booked under sections 304A (causing death due to negligence), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 114 (abettor present when offence is committed) of IPC. No arrests have been made yet as the accused have not been identified,” said J Giram, senior inspector of Sahar police station. 

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