Staff Reporter

An iron beam had dropped on a car injuring four persons

NEW DELHI: A day after its crane operator dropped an iron beam on a car injuring four persons near a metro rail construction site, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has decided to brush up its act.

At a high-level meeting over the weekend, DMRC officials reviewed the procedures being followed and issued a fresh set of instructions to the contractors entrusted with carrying out various works at the sites.

The meeting was chaired by Director (Electrical) Satish Kumar and Director (Works) Mangu Singh and attended by DMRC engineers and international engineers of the Airport Line.

In view of the dangers that crane operations pose to human life, the DMRC has now decided to restrict all crane-lifting operations near roads and public areas to be carried out only between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. These activities will also be supervised by senior DMRC officials.

All traffic movement will be stopped for short durations of 10 to 15 minutes when such lifting operations are carried out and an independent audit will be carried out of all cranes at all Metro sites to certify their working condition and check their age, quality and reliability. There are over 200 cranes working every day at Metro sites across the city.

“The sub-contractor, M/s Navayuga Engineering Company, that was using the crane on Friday that caused an accident injuring four people has been asked to replace all its cranes whose reliability was not up-to-the-mark within 10 days. A three-member team of senior DMRC officials and foreign consultants has been constituted to probe the incident in detail and investigation has already begun,” said a senior official.

He said preliminary investigation had revealed that the crane involved had been commissioned only the previous day to return to work after engine repairs. Soon after it started working, sparks and smoke were noticed in the engine compartment and panels. “It appears that the crane operator panicked because of the smoke or sparks and jumped out of the crane in a hurry. While jumping, he seems to have depressed a lever because of which the 4-tonne iron beam the crane was carrying was lowered suddenly. The operator is presently untraceable,” the official said.

The beam, which was in a vertical position, fell on one end inside the barricaded area and started toppling over. An alarm was raised and traffic marshals managed to stop almost all the vehicles on the road. However, the Tavera vehicle involved in the accident was going at a high speed and failed to stop before it ca- me under the toppling beam. The driver, identified as 23-year-old Manoj, was trapped in the vehicle for some time but the site staff used another crane to extricate him. He suffered a bone fracture in the left leg, the official said.

Meanwhile, rumble strips which will act as speed breakers are being placed in front of RML Hospital’s emergency gate to prevent vehicles from over-speeding on the construction stretch. An additional traffic signal will also be installed. Rumble strips will also be put up at other Metro construction sites.