The Reliance Infrastructure-led Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL) will rope in SGS, a Switzerland-based company, to monitor safety till the construction of the 11.4-km corridor is completed. Till the independent company presents its report on safety, all work on Metro construction sites has been suspended.
In an emergency board meeting on Tuesday, the MMOPL also decided to appoint a four-member safety committee to take a stock of the safety conditions at construction sites along the Metro corridor before every board meeting.
“For every Metro station, there are at least four contractors working on different aspects and at times, overall safety is compromised with one assuming the other is looking at it. We have decided to step in and personally monitor safety conditions,” said Sumit Banerjee, chief executive of infrastructure business at Reliance Infrastructure.
The move comes in the wake of the recent accident at the Airport Road Metro station site. The company will submit a preliminary report in two days and a final report in about five days.
Banerjee said suspension of work will have an impact on the project completion, but the delay can be estimated only after the report of the safety audit is in. “We will then know exactly what we need to rectify and how long that might take,” Banerjee said.
“For the first two or three days after the accident, our own engineers did a safety check and the general impression was that housekeeping at the sites could be improved,” he said. The internal audit showed that there was a risk of people or objects falling from the top at the construction sites. The MMOPL has already started installing safety nets at the sites and also plans to ensure adequate lighting, he added.
Both MMOPL and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), a minor stakeholder in the special purpose vehicle and the nodal agency for the project, have appointed independent committees to probe into the accident last week. One labourer was killed while 16 others were injured.
The committees are likely to submit a final report by September 15, based on which the MMOPL board will decide the action, if any, against Hindustan Construction Company, the contractor at the site.
“The board meeting went well. There was no difference of opinion between the MMOPL and MMRDA. In general, it was emphasised that the MMOPL must be more proactive than reactive,” said Rahul Asthana, metropolitan commissioner at the MMRDA.