Jaipur Metro might miss deadline again

JAIPUR: With a lot of civil construction work for the Jaipur Metro rail corridor still pending, it remains a major challenge for the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to start commercial operation of the project by August, the new deadline.

In a recent project review meeting, it was learnt that the project is set to miss its extended July 2013 deadline and urban development and housing (UDH) minister Shanti Dhariwal had announced August first week as the fresh date.

Sources in the department claimed that work for laying tracks from Mansarovar has started. The testing work, however, has been stalled as the ramp for the rail road vehicle has not been constructed. “Even after Shanti Dhariwal expressed disappointment at the project’s pace and directed officials to construct the ramp within seven days, the work has not been started yet,” an official source said.

Delay in civil construction has been given as the major reason for failing to meet both the earlier deadlines set. The minister has said the train can be operational only between Mansarovar and the railway station by August as against the earlier announced route from Mansarovar to Chandpole.

However, sources claimed that even to run train on this patch is a huge challenge. “Between Ram Nagar and Shyam Nagar Metro stations, approximately work for 12 segments is pending. Similarly, between Ajmer Pulia and railway station, work for 10 segments is delayed,” the source added.

The minister has set May 30 as the deadline for completion of civil construction work. Currently, close to 1,200 workers are involved in the civil construction but the number is not enough to expedite the work.

The DMRC has attributed several reasons for the delay, including receiving late permission from the commissioner of metro railway safety (CMRS), to construct the elevated tracks across railway tracks near Ajmer road.

Showing helplessness to take any strict action against the firm for not performing, the minister had also expressed that if the firm is blacklisted, the project will be delayed further as inviting fresh tenders would require at least six months’ time.

To avoid further delay in operating the train, the DMRC has an alternate plan to run the coaches already operational on the Delhi Metro routes has been drawn. “If we bring operational coaches from the Delhi Metro, the initial trial run will not be required as they are already tested. The trial run takes four to six months and we can manage the gap by putting coaches which are already tested and approved,” an official said.