Hyderabad: The State government, which is a co-owner and partner in the public-private-partnership (PPP) company, the Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited (HMRL), which built and runs the Hyderabad metro rail, could have prevented the accidental death at the Ameerpet metro station on Sunday, in which a plaster piece fell on 24-year-old Monika, had they not compromised on the quality of construction.
In its construction of the metro rail project, the HMRL laid emphasis only on the upper deck where the metro rails run but compromised on quality of other areas.
Sources said that while superior quality pre-stressed concrete was used in the deck portions and concourse level, basic RCC was used for constructing the staircases.
The HMRL used basic reinforced cement concrete (RCC) to construct staircases, whose quality was overlooked by the ministry of municipal administration and urban development (MA&UD), which holds supervisory role over the PPP company, HMRL, overlooked this aspect during inspections by various officials and agencies.
Hyderabad's metro rail, which was been executed on a PPP mode, because of its compromised quality of construction, poses a grave threat to commuters at all the metro stations from Nagole to Miyapur, LB Nagar to Ameerpet and Hitec City. Though the quality checks department, which reports to the HMRL, which reports to the MA&UD has to check the quality of works, it gave it a miss.
According to sources who executed the project told Deccan Chronicle exclusively that HMRL laid emphasis of best quality only on the deck level where the rails travel. The L&T, the company responsible for execution of the metro project, used two sites to manufacture pre-stressed concrete and RCC units. While pre-stressed concrete was manufactured at one location, the RCC material was made at the working site at metro stations.
Sources said that quality checks were conducted on prestressed concrete, and areas it would be used, since it would carry the load of train with passengers, but commuter areas like staircases, were given a miss.
Sunday's accident is a cause of concern for the thousands of people who travel by metro rail because if safety standards have been compromised at the time of building it, such accidents could repeat. Sadly, had the government and HMRL had done its job correctly, the unfortunate accident would not have taken place.
When concerns were raised over safety of commuters, government officials and higher-ups did not pay heed.
When reached for a comment, neither Arvind Kumar, principal secretary, municipal administration and urban development, nor Anil Saini, COO, L&TMRHL, were available.