Information regarding recent media reports about defects in clips of the airport line metro corridor
- The safety of the passengers traveling by the Airport Express link, was never compromised by DMRC or the concessionaire running the line. The moment, faults were noticed in the clips on the railway tracks, the necessary speed restrictions were imposed by DAMEPL and the required repair work was carried out without hampering Metro operations, during the non operational hours in the night time.
- DMRC never forced or instructed the concessionaire to adopt any particular track system for the Airport Express corridor. Initially, the concessionaire suggested the ‘Single Fast Clip (SFC)’ system to DMRC, which was not found suitable for a high speed corridor. Subsequently, DMRC suggested four track systems to the concessionaire, which are – RHEDA 2000, VIPA, VANGAURD and Double Fast Clip. Apart from RHEDA 2000, all the other systems were from Pandrol, which is a rival company of the German firm Vossloh.
- In reply, the concessionaire suggested another system, which was Delkor.Alt1 from Vossloh, to which DMRC initially agreed and instructed the concessionaire to get more details about the system. The concessionaire, however, could not get further details of the same.
- As the entire process was taking a lot of time, which could have impacted the eventual commissioning of the line, DMRC suggested the RHEDA 2000 track system, as it was already approved by the Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) for the railways.
- Further, so far only the clips fixed on the underground tracks have been affected while those on the elevated section have been working properly. If the clips were all faulty or defective, then they must have failed in the elevated sections also which face more pressure as they are exposed to the external environment. Therefore, a thorough investigation into the issue is necessary, in which all other ancillary factors related to Metro operations also need to be investigated.
- There is no truth in the allegation that DMRC did not reply to the communications sent to it by RDSO. When letters were sent to DMRC on this issue, they were promptly forwarded to the concessionaire, (DAMEPL) as they were running the system. However, the concessionaire could not reply on time and finally sent a part reply on May 22nd, 2012. Following this development, DMRC conducted meetings with the concessionaire as well as Vossloh and sent the reply on July 5th, 2012.
- As regards the issue of the civil defects noticed on the elevated section of the corridor, it may be mentioned that as per the concessionaire agreement, the concessionaire was supposed to carry out regular inspections to monitor the civil structures. However, timely inspections were not carried out despite repeated reminders from DMRC. Had these defects been noticed and pointed out earlier, then the repair work could have been carried out without hampering the Metro operations.