Metro pillar collapse: IIT & IISc claim supporting structure was not okay

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BENGALURU: A team from IIT Hyderabad, which inspected the site of the Metro pillar collapse near Nagawara, in which a woman and her son lost their lives, has said in its preliminary report that the support structure for the pillar was not designed properly.

The IIT experts, who conducted the study on a request from the city police, noted that the guy wires holding the 18-metre-high reinforcement cage of the under-construction pillar could not bear the weight, and stressed that the design is very important and that the supporting structure should be strong.

Last Friday, a team of IIT experts had inspected the site. In the interim report, it said the site engineers should have provided for adequate support while building a 18-metre-tall cage at one shot by using rods and cement blocks. It also highlighted the negligence of the engineers of Nagarjuna Construction Company (NCC) in taking adequate precautions, due to which the pillar leaned over and collapsed.

The complete report is expected to be submitted in two-three days’ time.

The 18-metre-tall reinforcement cage was held in place with the support of guy wires.

Meanwhile, the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, which is also studying the pillar collapse incident on a request from the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), has offered to conduct conduct training for all Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) engineers to enhance their knowledge.

Earlier, BMRCL was arranging training for the officers twice a year. But now, it has decided to organise training for the engineers once every three months to enhance their skills and knowledge.

The scaffolding and the metal structure of the pillar came crashing down.

Among the suggestions by IISc for Metro employees are:

  • Every employee should carry safety kit.
  • During construction of tall pillar, quality materials should be used.
  • Engineers should regularly visit work site and get information about the works.
  • Installing guy wire is important during pillar construction. Engineers should pay attention to workers after finishing work.
  • Officials should pay attention to concrete works and check steel test report.
  • Precautionary measures to be followed on roads which see heavy traffic.
  • IISc team will BMRCL officers and engineers on new technologies and advancements.
An IIT team from Hyderabad inspected the incident site last Friday and gathered information.

Professor Chandra Kishan from IISc said, “We have gathered all the ground level information regarding the construction. The Metro pillar construction is just equal to a six-storeyed building and support structures become important. The Site engineers, junior engineers should examine the work. The Request For Inspection (RFI) is not yet done. Contractors have to take complete responsibility. A third-party test has been done and we have taken the report from October. We will submit our final report by Saturday. We are also designing a safety course for engineers to enhancing knowledge, safety, and technology. We will give general report and will conduct short-term course”, said Chandra Kishan.

IISc expert Chandra Kishan claimed the support structure of the reinforcement cage was not adequate.

Earlier, the Karnataka High Court had taken note of the Metro pillar collapse which killed a woman and her two-year-old son.

Alleged negligence by Metro officials led to the reinforcement cage of an under-construction Metro pillar to fall on a two-wheeler, trapping a woman and her son. They died without responding to treatment at a hospital nearby, while her husband and daughter escaped without injuries.

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