KARNATAKA

Safety, a cause for concern

Raghava M.

BANGALORE: In the past six months, the ongoing Namma Metro project has recorded four accidents, claiming two lives and injuring four. Even as the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) sticks to its claim that safety standards for the project are being followed to the hilt, there continues to be some oversights and lapses in the implementation.

In December 2008, a crane toppled into a footpath leading to protests from residents and traders on CMH Road. No injuries. But the second time around, an accident claimed the life of a 20-year-old worker who came under the wheels of an earthmover on Mahatma Gandhi Road-Brigade Road junction on January 11. A few days later, four workers were injured during a demolition operation in Rajajinagar I Block on January 29. Further, on May 23 a worker died in another demolition drive when a building wall collapsed on him in Mahakavi Kuvempu Road in Rajajinagar.

The BMRCL maintained that safety standards were being rigorously followed at all the work sites of Namma Metro. Safety for the workers and of the houses adjoining the work places were being closely monitored, said BMRCL’s Chief Public Relations Officer B.L. Yeshwant Chavan.

Mr. Chavan said the BMRC had appointed safety engineers and consultants, who keep a track of the safety requirements at every reach. There are safety inspectors, who visit the workplaces and ensure that the contractors comply with all the safety requirements. The BMRCL had been conducting weekly meetings and safety drills at the construction sites.

Instructions

The safety, health and environment standards are prescribed in the instructions given to those submitting tenders for the construction and other works. They are asked to give an outline of the ways in which the safety, health and environment standards will be maintained. The contractors will associate with the corporation in periodical checking of security. “We have a clause to impose penalty on the contractors who do not comply with the safety standards,” Mr. Chavan said.