East Delhi residents say poor safety rules are being followed in the ongoing Phase III construction of Delhi Metro.
"The construction company engaged by Delhi Metro has been completely violating construction safety rules. A service lane of Saini Enclave has caved in, endangering the houses. Instead of taking any safety measures, the contractor has blocked the service lane," Pawan Gupta of Saini Enclave in east Delhi said.
Hundreds of families in Karkardooma, Saini Enclave, Kiran Vihar and Rishabh Vihar in east Delhi complain that the ongoing Phase III construction of the 59-km corridor from Mukundpur to Shiv Vihar passes through some very congested areas.
They lament that many stretches in and around the construction area are full of potholes and stagnant water and no pathway has been left for pedestrians.
"It is becoming difficult for students, women and the elderly to go to the nearby Karkardooma metro station. My son, who used to walk down for his tuition in Jagriti Enclave, has to be dropped by a car. The tuition place, which is 500 metres away, has become a four km journey now," said Varinder Arora of Saini Enclave.
"We were already well connected to the metro with the Vaishali-Dwarka and Dilshad Garden-Rithala metro lines. All of a sudden we have been burdened with another elevated metro. This will lead to arterial roads getting choked with rickshaws. It will also lead to commercialisation, parking problems and encroachments," Arora added.
"Due to the ongoing metro work, we have to travel two km extra. The service lane has been narrowed and vehicles can't use it. Marshals deployed by metro officials to regulate traffic are hardly seen. Vehicles enter the service lane blocking it, leading to fights," said Manmohan Mehra, secretary of the Kiran Vihar residents welfare association.
Residents also complain that too many metro stations in the vicinity increases commercialisation and space crunch.
Delhi Metro officials claimed that they are working with difficulty in this Karkardooma village to Kiran Vihar stretch of road, as the area is congested. They added that after four to five months the entire road would be open to the public.
"All the construction work by Delhi Metro is being done as per the norms laid down in the contract specifications and safety manual. The road from Karkardooma village to Kiran Vihar is a narrow one with a width of 18 metres. For the construction work, about nine metres is required," a Delhi Metro official said.
He added: "Before taking up the work, we had meetings with three resident welfare associations in that area and we started work after getting their consent."
Metro officials further stated that they "cleared choked drains and sewers in the area and shifted the sewer line to this road, so a portion of it has been closed temporarily for the betterment of this area and residents".
"We are taking care that residents are not hindered. We have community-level meetings with residents," a Delhi Metro official said.
Phase III of the metro, the Mukundpur-Shiv Vihar line, is the second longest corridor in Delhi. It will be completed by 2016.