city anchor: Officials will fly to Chile to find solution for Airport Metro


What caused the cracks and other structural defects that forced the suspension of service on the Airport Metro line since July 8? To find the answer, a group of officials are likely to fly to Chile in mid-October, stay there for a week and look for clues.

"Chile has a high-speed Metro similar to our Airport Metro line. The team of officials will study and analyse the rail service in that country. That will enable them to understand the technicalities that caused the defects, which forced suspension of the Airport Metro service," an official said.

The team comprises the two-member inquiry committee — A K Gupta, Additional Member (Works) in the Railway Board, and Additional Secretary D Diptivilasa. They will be accompanied by senior officials from the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and the Union Urban Development Ministry.

An official said the DMRC would fund the trip. "The exact date of departure of the delegation is being worked out with the authorities in Santiago, the Chilean capital. They are likely to leave in mid-October and stay there for nearly a week," the official said.

The official said the idea for a visit to Chile was floated by the French firm, Systra, which has designed the Airport Metro corridor. "The company has been associated with several Metro projects across the world. So, it was suggested that the authorities should travel to Chile and study the rail service there. This could be prove quite handy for the inquiry committee to verify several key problems of the Airport Metro line," he said.

The inquiry committee was set up by the Urban Development Ministry to study the defects and subsequent suspension of service on the 22.7-km Airport Metro corridor.

The committee was given nine aspects to study — including design and quality of civil structure and if there was any delay in detection of faults. It was asked to submit its report in three months.

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