DMRC chief Sreedharan quits over metro bridge mishap

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New Delhi, July 12 (ANI): Taking full responsibility for Sunday's Metro bridge collapse in Lajpat Nagar in South Delhi, in which 6 people were killed and 13 injured, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation's (DMRC) 77-year-old Managing Director, E Sreedharan announced that he was resigning with immediate effect.

"Technically, someone else should take the responsibility but I have decided to quit," said Sreedharan.arlier, Sreedharan had said that he would take stock of the situation arising out of this morning's DMRC bridge collapse, and then decide what action was to be taken against the project contractor, Gammon India.

Sreedharan's comments came soon after he received a report that at least five people had been killed and 20 injured when an under-construction bridge of the Delhi Metro collapsed in Lajpat Nagar in South Delhi.

When reports last came in, at least one person was still trapped under the debris. The incident was reported from near Lady Shri Ram College in Dhamrutpur near Lajpat Nagar. The injured are being treated at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

Delhi police has been recording the statements of the people who were trapped and the witnesses at the site of the mishap, and police sources said that if there is evidence to indicate that despite the fault in existing construction, it was carried forward, then a case of culpable homicide will be registered.

Delhi Metro spokesperson Anuj Dayal said, "it was a structural collapse and we are investigating the matter."

The under-construction bridge fell on a water pipeline which led to some flooding in the area. An eyewitness said 20-25 labourers were working on the site.

After retiring from the Indian Railways as Member Engineering in 1990, Sreedharan acquired worldwide recognition after supervising the building of the next to impossible Konkan Railway along India's western coast in a record time of seven years.

Starting out 1990, the project was unique in many respects. It was the first major project in India to be undertaken on a BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) basis; the organisation structure was different from that of a typical Indian Railway set-up; the project had 93 tunnels along a length of 82 km and involved tunneling through soft soil. The total project covered 760 km and had over 150 bridges. That a public sector project could be completed without significant cost and time overruns was considered an achievement by many.

He was made the managing director of Delhi Metro and by mid-2005, all the scheduled sections were completed by their target date or before and within their respective budgets.

Sreedharan was given the sobriquet of Metro Man by the media. In 2005, he was awarded the Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour) by the French government.

He had announced that he would retire by the end of 2005, but his tenure was extended by another three years to oversee the completion of the second phase of Delhi Metro.

Recently he was invited by Pakistan to assess development of the Lahore Metro plan.

He was also called by the UAE govt in 2005 to Head the Dubai Metro Project, he however rejected their offer, because of his preoccupation with DMRC. (ANI)

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