Construction firm staff held responsible for January Metro tragedy

The Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS), who conducted an inquiry into the Metro accident, submitted his report in the first week of August, according to Metro sources.
A software engineer and her two-year-old child were crushed by an under-construction pillar that collapsed at a metro construction site in Bengaluru in January, 2023 | Express
A software engineer and her two-year-old child were crushed by an under-construction pillar that collapsed at a metro construction site in Bengaluru in January, 2023 | Express

BENGALURU:  Employees of Nagarjuna Construction Company (NCC), which is executing the Metro project work, have been held responsible for the death of a woman and her two-and-a-half-year-old son when a reinforcement structure collapsed on them on Outer Ring Road near HBR Layout in the city on January 10.

The Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS), who conducted an inquiry into the Metro accident, submitted his report in the first week of August, according to Metro sources.

With the submission of the report, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) officials, who were under suspension for six months, have been reinstated. In his report, the commissioner has pulled up BMRCL over safety aspects. To avert such accidents in future, an advisory has been issued to Metro networks across the country.

Tejasvini Sulakhe and Vihaan Sulakhe died while Lohith Kumar Sukhale and his daughter Vismita survived. Lohith filed a petition in the high court in July seeking Rs 10 crore as compensation for the loss his family suffered.

After the accident, Mohan MG, chief of safety of BMRCL, and Richardson Asir, a top official in the quality department, quit allegedly due to harassment and humiliation by Govindapura police, who conducted an inquiry into the incident. Police filed a 1,100-page chargesheet against 11 engineers of BMRCL and NCC.

BMRCL terminated the services of junior engineer Jeevan Kumar, who was in charge of the stretch where the accident took place (Package 1 of KR Puram-Airport Line), and imposed Rs 10 lakh as a penalty on NCC. 

Deputy chief engineer Venkatesh Shetty, executive engineer Mahesh Bendekari, section engineer Jaffer Sadik and an assistant executive engineer were reinstated last month after the CMRS found them not guilty, an official said.

Another top official said, "BMRCL had announced a compensation of Rs 20 lakh to the Sukhale family members and sent them several reminders seeking details of their bank account for the money to be deposited. However, they never responded." "The family is also entitled to an insurance compensation of nearly Rs 1 crore from the contractor," another official said.

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