Delhi: 20 pillars on Airport Metro line needed strengthening

Did some pillars of the Delhi Metro`s Airport Express line not meet the standards?

New Delhi: Did some pillars of the Delhi
Metro`s Airport Express line not meet the standards?

The Delhi Metro has admitted that 20 pillars on the much
hyped line, connecting Connaught Place with the Indira Gandhi
Airport and expected to begin operations in September, needed
strengthening as an "abundant precaution".
More surprising is the fact that Metro had to use over 20
times more steel and over double the concrete used initially
in the pillars to give them desired strength, reveals an RTI

Ironically, "no agency was held responsible" for the
glaring shortcomings. The entire strengthening process costed
about Rs six crore, the reply sent to Architect Sudhir Vohra

"This is just the tip of the iceberg. The entire Metro
network had about 85 pillars with shoddy design which I could
locate and needed replacement or strengthening. They (DMRC)
have also accepted it in a series of RTI replies to me," Vohra
told agency.

The pillars are built of basically steel and concrete.
Their design and construction is extremely important for
safety of trains running on them at high speeds, experts say.

"The quantity of Reinforcement Steel used in the original
construction (between pile cap and top of pier cap) is
441051.59 kilograms. The quantity of Reinforcement Steel used
in the revise/altered construction is 9110978.59 kilograms
(nearly 20 times)," the reply said.
Vohra claimed the use of such huge amount of steel and
concrete is a wastage of money.

E Sreedharan, CMD DMRC in a letter to Vohra last year
accepted that "DMRC is aware of the deficiency in
reinforcement detailing in some of the cantilever piers. All
such designs are under review."

Nearly a year ago, six persons including five labourers
and a 28-year-old engineer of Gammon India, the contractor of
the project, were killed when a pillar of underconstruction
bridge gave in near Lady Shriram College in Lajpat Nagar.

Following the incident, Metro had ordered re-check of all
cantilever structures built in Phase-II from safety and
quality point of view by independent structural experts.

Earlier in October 2008, two persons were killed and 16
others injured when a portion of an under-construction bridge
of the Metro collapsed and fell on a bus on Vikas Marg in
Lakshmi Nagar area in east Delhi.


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