New Delhi: While boarding the Metro train from the Pink Line at Ashram Metro station, many commuters might not be aware that the area could have been remembered as the site of a major tragedy, had it not been for timely action.
According to a Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) official, "On May 25, 2016, the gantry cranes at the Ashram construction site tilted and derailed due to heavy winds and a storms. The locks of the crane broke and, due to this, it dangerously on to the flyover, located close to the construction site. Because of this, traffic had to be diverted on the extremely busy Ring Road. To dismantle the tilted crane, two additional cranes of 350 and 500 tonnes had to be deployed."
For the dismantling operations, two heavy cranes were pressed into service, which gradually helped in safely removing the parts of the huge gantry.
"Initially, the crab weight above the gantry was removed and then the entire gantry was dismantled in parts; first the connecting beams and then the legs," he added.
On that evening, cranes were placed at their respective positions. After assembling counter weights on the cranes, dismantling of crabs began by 9.30 pm on the same day.
Both the crabs were dismantled and lowered down to the ground by morning.
Next morning, traffic was also opened on the Ring Road, which was closed for dismantling the gantry, and it was decided to dismantle the girders during the night after closing the road again at Ashram chowk.
The dismantled portion of the gantry crane was held by the 350 tonne crane till night time, the official said.
An immediate rescue operation was called and for additional safety, four houses in the vicinity had to be evacuated and the gantry was tied with the guyropes. Additional welding was done to further sabilise the machinery.
Meanwhile, a spontaneous decision of traffic diversion averted the risk of any further untoward incident and the dislocation of the gantry could be reinstated with much ease and control, he added.
He added, "To avoid major mis-happening, a diversion was created and all the vehicles going towards Mathura Road or Bhogal from the DND expressway side had to take the Ashram flyover and then take a U-turn from below the Sriniwaspuri flyover. Adequate traffic marshals and temporary signages were immediately put up at all crucial intersections to inform the motorists."
The incident did not cause any damage, whatsoever, to any person or machinery in the area. These kinds of incidents do not give much room for planned action. Forethought combined with immaculate planning and precision in execution become the need of the hour.