CHENNAI: While Chennai Metro Rail has drawn flak for compromising with basic safety, leading to the death of biker Giridharan, its officials maintain that safety is given paramount importance whenever construction work is undertaken on the elevated stretch.
A Chennai Metro Rail spokesman claimed that when the incident happened during the rush hour, their workers had only assembled on the other side of the road before starting work.
However, questions have been raised as to whether the accident was the result of the shoddy work done by the contractor, Nagarjuna Construction Company.
“An inquiry by an official in the cadre of chief general manager will be conducted. The official will inspect the site and submit a report,” the spokesman added.
It is learnt that the structure, or deck slab, was to be removed as the work of laying the concrete on the elevated stretch had been completed. “It was ready for the stage to remove the material,” he said. To a query on why Chennai Metro Rail failed to provide a protective covering like a net as in other sites, since the work was yet to be completed, the spokesman said that the inquiry would look into this aspect.
The spokesman also said that action would be taken against the contractor. To a query whether the family of Giridharan would be paid compensation, he said the contractor would pay as per the third party insurance cover.
Nagarjuna Construction Company took up the work on the stretch in 2014 after Chennai Metro Rail terminated the Consolidated Construction Consortium contract.
Wednesday’s incident is not the first such. In 2012, on the Koyambedu-Vadapalani stretch, a 50-tonne Metro Rail scaffolding collapsed, bringing traffic to a standstill for nearly 15 minutes.
During the same year, several motorists proceeding on the 100 Feet Road at Ekkaduthangal had a providential escape when a 25-foot-long iron bar which was fixed across the road to caution tall vehicles to avoid the stretch where Metro Rail construction was underway, came crashing down.
The huge iron bar fell on the busy road after the roof of a tall truck hit it when the driver tried to squeeze through, ignoring the warning board. In April 6, 2010, a major accident was averted on the same stretch when a pile-boring equipment that had started to tilt while being moved was prevented from falling on the road.
A look at the accidents that have happened at the Metro Rail construction site in Chennai in the past
Jan 11, 2014: One construction worker crushed to death and another worker injured as crane topples and falls over them at the Saidapet Metro Rail station
May 15, 2013: Overhead power supply cables get snapped and a 57-year-old man dies on the spot as he steps on a live wire in the vicinity of a Metro Rail site in Alandur
Jan 16, 2013: Software professional dies as a Metro Rail crane rams his two-wheeler on Anna Salai
Jan 10, 2013: Construction worker crushed to death and three others injured as a girder comes down crashing at the Metro Rail site in St Thomas Mount
Aug 8, 2012: Crane boom snaps, falls on workers, killing a labourer at Metro Rail construction site near Pachaiyappa’s College