Chennai: Adulteration of construction material in the ongoing work at the MRTS stretch connecting Velachery and St Thomas Mount, poses a big question: How safe will you be while travelling in it?
Workers at the construction site reveal serious irregularities, as substandard concrete is used in the construction site. “We were ordered to mix one bag of cement for 10 bags of sand as against the required proportion of 4 bags of cement. Also, the colour of the sand is such that nobody would know about the adulteration at a glance. This increases the risk of collapse,” alleged one of the workers on condition of anonymity.
The workers are assigned to construct a mini commercial complex and a few cabins for MRTS officials and the walls, according to him are dominos, which would collapse at a kick.
While metro and suburban rail officials finished the preliminary work on the building in October last year and started their services, the construction of MRTS line on the second floor has been happening for more than a year and is expected to be completed within three months.
The labourers said once the trains start running, huge vibrations might increase the risk of collapse. “This endangers the lives of many and when we approached the officials earlier this week, they had asked us to work with the adulterated sand or look for a new job. Though there are enough funds being released by MRTS, neither are we paid nor are the materials proper,” said another worker.
Worst-case scenario, they allege that they are forced to mix 20 litres of water for 20 litres of paint and are forced to put multiple coatings, which would chip off due to wrong proportions.
When contacted, the contract officials said no work begins without the approval of the client and snapped at the allegations on adulteration.
St Thomas Mount station has been designed as a ‘signature station’ with integrated five modes of public transport – suburban railway, Southern Railway, Metro Rail, MRTS and public buses – at various levels. Receiving a footfall of around a lakh everyday, it also acts as a corridor to Chennai airport.