Airport Metro: New problems found, will take 5 months to fix
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As the row over the closure of the Airport Metro Express escalated between the Reliance Infra-led concessionaire and Delhi Metro, the Urban Development Ministry on Monday disclosed that several clips in the underground section of the line had been severely damaged and it would take at least five months to rectify the problem.
Last week, the Ministry said repairs in the overhead section of the line would be completed by August and the Airport Metro would resume services.
"Reliance is looking into the matter. The fault will take five months to rectify," Urban Development secretary Sudhir Krishna said.
"We will try to resume services by August 10, but the situation will be clear only by July-end. We don't want to compromise on safety. Even if we resume services, train speed will not exceed 80 kmph till the clips damaged because of wear and tear are repaired," he said.
Other than the broken clips, Krishna said the bearings and girders have to be checked, too.
He said Reliance has assured the Ministry that it would continue to operate the Airport line.
But the concessionaire claimed on Monday that the defects in the structure existed from Day 1, and cannot be passed off as poor maintenance.
Sumit Banerjee of Reliance Infra said: "We did not know about these defects because these are not easily visible. You need a crane to see them. These faults existed from day one, and cannot be attributed to maintenance."
"The drawings have not been followed during installation of the bearings. These structures have a life-span of 15 years. A detailed inspection is mandatory every five years and a cursory check every year," he said.
Banerjee, however, parried questions on whether the line was inaugurated without a thorough inspection of the structure to meet the deadline.