The Metro construction site where the worker was killed. (PTI)
New Delhi, July 22: Delhi Metro witnessed its third accident in 10 days when a labourer died after a beam being lifted by an apparently faulty crane fell on him early this morning.
Metro chief E. Sreedharan, who has faced allegations of lax safety standards in the rush to complete projects ahead of next years Commonwealth Games, blamed the contractor. Chief minister Sheila Dikshit gave Delhi Metro a clean chit, blaming todays incident on human error.
Hours after the labourer, 22-year-old Vicky Singh from Uttar Pradesh, died, a Metro panel blamed contractor Gammon India for the July 13 crane crash that injured five persons, according to PTI.
We have received the report on the snapping of cranes. It holds (the) contractors mismanagement and non-professional approach as the reasons, Sreedharan said.
Another panel, including external experts, looking into the July 12 bridge collapse in which six persons, including an engineer from Bengal, died, is expected to submit its report tomorrow.
Later in the evening, Sreedharan slammed a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General which accuses the Metro of scaling down testing requirements and testing in non-accredited labs during phase one which has been completed.
The government auditors job is to find fault, he told PTI, adding that it had no responsibility to deliver.
It has been uncharitable in its remarks. We have worked very hard and what is important is results, Sreedharan, also referred to as the Metro Man, said.
Sources said the report of the four-member committee inquiring into the July 12 bridge collapse, near Lajpat Nagar, would point out whether a design fault, on-site construction or substandard material were responsible.
The panel comprises the IITs A.K. Nagpal, Delhi College of Engineerings B.R. Bose, structural expert Steven Lowry and Metro design head Rajan Kataria.
Todays accident occurred in Punjabi Baghs Ashoka Park area in northwest Delhi around 5.45am when labourer Singh, working for contractor IDEB-SUCG JV, was supervising the operations of the crane.
Suddenly, the cranes cables snapped and the beam fell on his shoulder. He was rushed to a nearby hospital but succumbed to his injuries.
Sreedharan blamed IDEB-SUCG JV, saying the crane used by the contractor was new and the slings used were not certified.
We have a very rigorous system of checking our lifting substances. In this case, the contractor got a new crane, a new operator and slings. Nobody checked it, he told PTI, adding the victim should have also been a little careful in guiding the beam.
Metro spokesperson Anuj Dayal took pains to stress that there was no structural collapse, one of the suspected reasons behind the July 12 tragedy.
Chief minister Dikshit echoed the Metro officials when she asserted in a statement that todays accident was a result of human error and not a design fault. So DMRC cannot be blamed.