The State government has revealed that the Namma Metro project has claimed the lives of 38 people till date.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who also holds the portfolio of Bengaluru Development, which includes BMRCL executing the project, in a written response to JD(S) MLC T.A. Sharavana in the ongoing session of the State Legislature, stated that till date, accidents involving the metro rail project affected a total of 50 people, of which 38 died.
The foundation for the metro rail project was laid in 2006 and since then, BMRCL has been executing the project in a phased manner.
In Phase I, 42.3 km of metro lines were made operational. Under Phase II, a total of 72 km lines are being implemented, of which 14 km have opened for public. BMRCL is executing 55 km of metro network from Central Silk Board to Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) under Phase II A & B.
Among those who lost their lives, the majority are construction workers. On January 10, a woman and her two-year-old son died after an under-construction metro reinforcement cage fell on a moving bike. Luckily, the husband of the woman and their daughter had a narrow escape.
The incident happened near HBR Layout on the Outer Ring Road. Alleged serious lapses, on part of the contractor executing the work and the engineers of the BMRCL, forced the agency to stall the construction works of pillars designed for above 12 metres.
In his response to questions raised by another MLC Prakash K. Rathod, the CM has said that the Govindapura police are investigating the case, following a complaint from the husband of the deceased. An expert from the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, has filed a detailed report on the incident and further safety measures will be taken based on the report.
The response from the Chief Minister stated that a compensation of ₹3,15,74,39 crore, to the families of the deceased and the injured, has been disbursed till date.
The response also stated that three engineers were suspended and a penalty of ₹1.77 crore imposed on the contractors.
In the recent accident, the BMRCL paid compensation of ₹20 lakh to the family members and a penalty of ₹15 lakh imposed on the contractor. As per the order of the BMRCL, the contractor has suspended three of its employees for the lapses. The BMRCL has also served notice to the contractor.
“To avoid accidents, as a safety and precautionary measure, while reaching an agreement the contractors have to follow the instructions on safety, health and environment manual,” stated the response.
It can be recalled that after the recent incident, the High Court of Karnataka initiated suo motu PIL proceedings on the safety issues in executing the Namma Metro project.