DMRC wants investigation into the clip failure, pointing out that so far only the clips that were used on the underground section have developed faults

Criticised for “downplaying” the faults that eventually led to closure of the Airport Express Metro Line, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation on Tuesday refuted all allegations levelled against it by the concessionaire Reliance Infra, and claimed that passenger safety “was never compromised”.

Earlier, the concessionaire had complained to the Union Ministry of Urban Development that the DMRC had insisted on carrying on operations despite being apprised of the fault in the civil works as well as in the fastening clips on the underground sections. The concessionaire had told the Ministry that it was forced by the DMRC to opt for the technology offered by Vossloh.

In its defence, the DMRC on Tuesday issued a statement refuting the allegations. “The moment faults were noticed in the clips on the railway tracks, the necessary speed restrictions were imposed by DAMEPL and the required repair work was carried out without hampering Metro operations during the non-operational hours in the night time. DMRC never forced or instructed the concessionaire to adopt any particular track system for the Airport Express corridor,” DMRC said in a statement.

On the concessionaire’s accusation that it was forced to opt for Voslloh, DMRC said: “Initially the concessionaire suggested the ‘Single Fast Clip (SFC)’ system to DMRC, which was not found suitable for a high speed corridor. Subsequently DMRC suggested four track systems to the concessionaire, which are – RHEDA 2000, VIPA, VANGAURD and Double Fast Clip. Apart from RHEDA 2000, all the other systems were from Pandrol, which is a rival company of the German firm Vossloh.”

“As the entire process was taking a lot of time, which could have impacted the eventual commissioning of the line, DMRC suggested the RHEDA 2000 track system, as it was already approved by the Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) for the Railways,” it added.

DMRC wants investigation into the clip failure, pointing out that so far only the clips that were used on the underground section have developed faults.

On the issue of civil work defects, DMRC pinned the blame on the concessionaire and said Reliance Infra did not adhere to the agreement signed. Reliance Infra was supposed to carry out regular inspections and monitor the civil structures, DMRC official said. “However, timely inspections were not carried out despite repeated reminders from DMRC. Had these defects been noticed and pointed out earlier, then the repair work could have been carried out without hampering the Metro operations,” the DMRC claimed.

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