Airport Express stalled by late safety audit
By Rumu Banerjee, TNN | Dec 27, 2012, 01.08 AM IST
NEW DELHI: The Airport Metro Express looks set for yet another delay. Neither the Delhi Metro nor the concessionaire, Reliance Infrastructure, seems interested in getting the required paperwork ready for the safety inspection.
Talking to TOI, commissioner for rail safety RK Kardam said that he had received the application for safety inspection some time ago. “However, there was further documentation required which has not been provided yet,” he said. Without this documentation, the safety inspection cannot take place and the Airport Metro Express will not be opened for revenue service.
Interestingly, repair work on the Delhi Airport Metro Express has been complete for some time now. Closed on July 8 this year, the Airport Metro Express had to undergo extensive repair work on the bearings in the alignment after the concessionaire, R-Infra, alleged that the faults led to safety issues. The alignment has also encountered problems in the underground tracks where clippings were found to be broken. Sources in Delhi Metro admit that repair work on the 22.7km alignment has been complete for over two months now.
The delay in setting up the safety inspection, however, seems interminable. Sources said that the application for the safety inspection had been moved in the first week of November though the actual papers were submitted to the CMRS only by mid-November. A series of holidays as well as the CMRS being out of town contributed to a delay in setting up the date. The missing paperwork is the latest problem dodging the opening of the corridor. Sources said that the inspection was not expected before mid-January now. “The new year as well as getting the documents to the CMRS will further push the opening,” said the official.
It’s been over six months since the high-speed corridor was closed down for repairs. While ridership figures of the line is not as high as the other corridors on the Delhi Metro network, the closure of the line has been a hardship for many. A green signal after the safety inspection however, will again throw open the line to commuters within a few days, said sources.
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