With a resolve to inculcate a “culture of safety” at its construction sites and labour camps, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation on Thursday launched a series of nukkad nataks called “Abhyas” at a casting yard in West Delhi. The casting yard set up by one of DMRC’s contractors, Larsen & Toubro (L&T), casts and quality tests segments and parapets use to construct a part of Line 7 (Mukundpur–Shiv Vihar Corridor) under Phase III of construction.

The launch of the series happened just hours after a massive launching girder – an iron structure used to place concrete piles between pillars along the elevated corridor – came crashing down at an L&T construction site engaged by the Chennai Metro Rail Limited killing one person. However, that mishap will have no bearing on DMRC’s choice of contractors. “L&T is a good contractor and they take utmost precautions. Unfortunately, accidents happen on sites and we can only try to minimise these,” said DMRC Chief Public Relations Officer Anuj Dayal.

“Minimising accidents” was Thursday’s priority with DMRC Director (Works) Jitendra Tyagi also stressing the importance of safety on construction sites. “Maintaining the quality of construction is of course beneficial to both DMRC and the country but safety is important to you as an individual and to your family,” he said addressing a group of labourers at the casting yard.

“Whenever there is an accident, we feel very bad and we really want our workers to be safe,” he said, urging the audience to make sure their colleagues also follow safety norms. “You have come here to work and earn a living so please be safe.”

The casting yard has been constructed at Zakhira in West Delhi to cast segments for the elevated section of the Mukundpur–Gokulpuri section of Line 7. “We have set March 2016 as the target for completing Line 7,” said Mr. Tyagi, adding that each contractor is provided space to set up a casting yard. At Zakhira casting yard, moulds are made to manufacture segments with each segment taking 3-4 hours to cast and launching girders are tested to see if it can withhold the weight of segments totalling 450 tonnes. Four segments are cast per day. “While the design of the segments is the same, the detailing could be slightly different depending on the contractor. However, the load specifications are given by DMRC,” said Mr. Tyagi.

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