Airport Metro to suspend ops over safety concerns
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Earlier this week, the concessionaire, Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt Ltd, detected a technical fault in the civil structure on the overhead section of the corridor and brought it to the notice of Delhi Metro.
The Research Design and Standards Organisation and Railways were also informed. The Ministry of Urban Development was told that services on the corridor had to be stopped.
The suspension of revenue operations is likely to hit the concessionaire hard as it is already facing financial losses.
Initial inspection showed that the 'neoprene bearings' that clasp the pier cap with the girder were becoming "warped". Sources said the rubber bearings that are supposed to be cuboidal in shape have developed curvatures. This is being attributed to poor quality of casting and has led to apprehensions of the girder and piers developing cracks. At some places, wide cracks were said to have already developed in the piers.
While the concessionaire is responsible for carrying out operations and maintenance of the Airport Metro, the line's civil structure was constructed by Delhi Metro and handed over.
The Delhi Metro refused to comment on the fault. A spokesperson said: "The Delhi Metro has received a communication from the concessionaire this evening that they intend to stop services from Sunday."
An official said the Delhi Metro will ask the concessionaire about the date by which services can be resumed.
There was no official word from the DAMEPL. The Ministry is expected to make an announcement on Saturday.
Sudhir Krishna, Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, confirmed that the concessionaire had conveyed that services on the line would be suspended from Sunday.
The high-speed corridor has been facing problems ever since its inauguration.
First the opening of the line was delayed by over five months, then the corridor could not meet specifications of running trains at a speed of 120 kmph and a 20-hour train service schedule.
Early this year, the speed of trains was reduced from 105 kmph to 80 kmph after rail clips broke at many points on the 22-km corridor.
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