South Asia

'Over 100 workers killed' during Delhi metro construction

Delhi metro railway
Image caption The metro is Delhi's pride

Over 100 workers have died during the construction of the metro railway in the Indian capital, Delhi, according to a submission by the metro authorities.

The deaths at the construction sites have happened since 1998, metro authorities informed a rights group.

The first line opened in 2002 and the metro offers commuters an air-conditioned and swift alternative to overcrowded buses and three-wheelers.

There has been pressure to upgrade it before October's Commonwealth Games.

Metro spokesman Anuj Dayal told the BBC that most of the deaths had happened in road and other accidents around the construction sites.

"Only nine or 10 workers have died in incidents involving collapse of metro structures. There have been two such incidents of structural collapses," he said.

Mr Dayal said the metro's accident rate was low compared with similar construction projects around the world.

Authorities said families of the deceased workers had received anything between 150,000 and 900,00 rupees ($3,000 to $20,000) in compensation.

Image caption Frequent accidents at metro sites have caused concern

At least six people died when a pillar supporting a partly built bridge collapsed in July last year in south Delhi.

In the same month, a labourer was killed when a girder fell on him at a rail construction site.

And in May 2009, a pillar supporting a partly built bridge collapsed killing six workers in the city's Zamrudpur area.

In October 2008, two people were crushed to death and 12 injured when another bridge under construction collapsed on to a bus and cars below.

The frequent accidents at metro sites have given rise to fears that safety standards are being compromised in the rush to build new lines, correspondents say.

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