Friday, August 07, 2009

Should Metro halt?

Should Metro halt?


Express News Service First Published : 06 Aug 2009 08:15:58 AM IST
BANGALORE: Former High Court judge Justice MF Saldanha who is well-known for some of his pro-green pronouncements, has supported the demand for an independent commission of public inquiry over the design and work-site safety issues of Bangalore Metro Rail.
The demand for the public inquiry commission has come in the wake of the latest workspot accident of metro rail - the “pier reinforcement slippage” that occurred at CMH Road stretch in Indiranagar, on Monday.
Differing with what he termed as the state judiciary’s “no interference” stand over Metro Rail issues, Justice Saldanha on Wednesday said that if he were still at the HC, he would have called for an immediate “halt work”.
The government should not be shy of examining the issues and getting a certification for the Bangalore project, when the recent metro rail work accidents at Delhi have given cause for anxiety, he said.
Common sense says that the pier-reinforcement-slippage at CMH Road was due to poor quality steel, Saldanha noted and said that mega projects are susceptible to such slips ups when contractors try to balance their funds with huge commissions to politicians and bureaucrats too.
Leading the group demanding the independent commission of public enquiry is senior advocate Pramila Nesargi and voluntary organisation Environment Support Group (ESG).
Addressing a press meet along with Justice Saldanha, they opined that lack of transparency in project implementation was a troubling indicator. The CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) report has faulted the lack of an independent director in the DMRC Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, they observed and pointed out that the BMRCL (Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited) too lacks one.

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