Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Rapid Metro’s deadline elastic

The delay has got so inexplicably inordinate that the Rapid Metro authorities themselves are not willing to specify a likely date by when the commercial operations would begin, even as sources in the know indicate that it might stretch till July-end.

While earlier the authorities at least conceded that the project would start by a specific month, they are now averse to even mention of the operations beginning in June or July. The initial deadline was in January this year, and it has already been delayed by at least six months and the authorities have not been able to offer any credible reason for the unwarranted delay.

All that they have to say is that acquiring the land took more time than they “anticipated”, but in the same breath add that all “our track work is complete and trial runs have commenced along the entire track,” leading one to ask what could then be the reason for the delay in opening the line.

In their defence, the managing director and CEO of Rapid Metro, Sanjiv Rai, said, “We are in process of obtaining necessary clearances from relevant authorities. Trial runs are being carried out and we will commence our commercial operations shortly.”

Further, the authorities claim that they have received speed certificate for oscillation trials from the ministry of railways. However, they refuse to comment if these oscillation trails have started or not. Oscillation trials are speed tests of the trains along the entire route length at the maximum speed, which in this case is 85 kmph.

According to sources, the trial runs are still being carried out at the minimum speed of around 15-20 kmph and it will take some more time before these oscillation trials are conducted. Only after these tests are carried out can the Rapid Metro authorities approach the chief of metro rail safety (CMRS) and ask him to carryout the mandatory check.

Sources claim that there is as such no reason for the delay in commencing the operations and it seems to be lackadaisical approach adopted by the authorities for the significant delay.

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