MMRDA to conduct surprise checks at sites

Apr 30, 2012, 06:54 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

Following the crane mishap at Ghatkopar, officials will now be visiting sites to check on safety standards, contractors found flouting norms will be punished

In a knee-jerk reaction to the incident where a crane at the construction site of the 11.07-km long Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar (VAG) metro rail corridor crashed into the boundary wall of Sarvodaya Hospital in Ghatkopar, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is now planning to write to Simplex Infrastructures Limited, the sub-contractor at the site, seeking clarification. In addition, the planning authority would be conducting surprise checks at various ongoing project sites to verify whether the contractors are adhering to the safety norms or not. Stringent action will be initiated against guilty contractors.

Descent: A crane crashed into the boundary wall of Sarvodaya Hospital in Ghatkopar where the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar metro rail work is on. File pic

One of the major reasons why the MMRDA has taken a serious note of the Ghatkopar accident is because five such mishaps have occurred at various construction sites of Simplex Infrastructures in the past. In the incident that took place in Andheri West in 2008, a person was killed after a piling rig collapsed on the rickshaw he was travelling in, while the auto driver sustained head injuries.

MMRDA Joint Project Director Dilip Kawathkar said, “The incident that took place in Ghatkopar is unfortunate, but we are lucky that no one was injured. We will be investigating into the matter and would be seeking clarification from the contractor.” A few days ago, a huge chunk of concrete at the expansion joint of the Lalbaug Flyover — constructed by Simplex Infrastructures — had collapsed. No casualties were reported from the spot.

The other side
“Simplex Infrastructures Ltd has always complied and will continue to comply with highest level of quality, safety and security norms at all our construction sites. It is important to note that the crane does not belong to the company and was being positioned by the agency to commence work the next day. Moreover, at the time of the malfunction, the crane was not executing work. The agency has informed that it was a mechanical malfunction. However, a thorough investigation jointly with MMOPL is being undertaken. It is unfortunate that the incident took place, but we have actively restored the situation to normalcy, as it occurred at our work site, but for no fault of ours,” said the company spokesperson.

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