In the line of fire, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) is all set to issue fresh guidelines mandating a two-stage reinforcement and concretising during construction of metro pillars to avoid accidents. This comes days after an under-construction 18-metre-tall reinforcement structure for a metro pillar fell on a bike, killing a mother-son duo, along the K. R. Puram - airport line on January 10.
As per the procedure now being followed, workers create a 1-metre high concrete base on which they erect the iron reinforcement for pillar ranging in height from 12-23 metres, and tying them with a guy-wire.
Questions were raised on the height of the pillar by both experts and the family of the deceased in the recent accident.
“How could the contractor raise a 18-metre-high pillar without adequate safety precautions? That is what killed my daughter,” alleged Madan Kumar, father of the deceased Tejaswini.
Not the first such incident on Namma Metro construction site
This was not the first time that iron reinforcement for an under-construction metro pillar got bent and dangled dangerously on moving vehicles on the road below. Two workers were injured on CMH Road in 2009, and photographs of similar incidents from HSR Layout and Bellandur have surfaced on Twitter.
Anjum Parvez, Managing Director, BMRCL, said the corporation will issue a fresh set of guidelines making two-stage reinforcement and concretising mandatory for all pillars over a height of 12 metres across Bengaluru. “From now on, instead of erecting the reinforcement on a 1-metre concrete base, it has to be done in two stages. For a 18-metre pillar, like the one that crashed on January 10, contractors need to first erect a reinforcement of 9 metres, concretise it and then erect a reinforcement for the second stage of another 9 metres. This way, the second stage of the reinforcement will have a strong base of 9 metres of concrete, preventing it from tilting or crashing,” he explained.
Work on Namma Metro airport line stopped
BMRCL has brought down the reinforcement of three other 18-metre-long under-construction pillars on the K. R. Puram - airport line to 12 metres to prevent any further untoward incident. These pillars will also be built in two stages. Post the accident, work on the line has stopped.
“We are in the final stages of drafting the new guidelines and will mostly issue them on January 13. Work will resume across Bengaluru on the basis of the new guidelines from January 16,” Mr. Parvez said.
Meanwhile, BMRCL has served a notice on Nagarjuna Construction Company (NCC) Limited, the contractor of the airport line.
The contractor is yet to respond. The report of an independent study by Indian Institute of Science (IISc.) is also awaited.