NEWS

Leaky metro station not a danger

The capital’s newest metro station, in the northeastern suburb of Holargos, is perfectly safe for passengers, officials said yesterday, despite the fact that one of the entrances used by commuters has been closed due to subsidence. Holargos station opened on Line 2 of the metro network on July 23 but last week subsidence was noted at one of the two entrances, leading to some steps and walls cracking. The area has been cordoned off and the construction firm that built the station is in the process of making repairs. Officials said that there is nothing for passengers to worry about and that the problem is being caused by the pressure from groundwater and leaking pipes, which is also leading to discoloration of the station’s walls, and is not the result of poor construction. «The problem is due to water pipes bursting and groundwater,» Christos Tsitouras, the president of Attiko Metro, the company responsible for the network’s construction, told Kathimerini. «We have asked the construction firm to carry out repairs and make the station watertight. The consortium has already closed off the area in question. «I would like to stress that this is a type of problem that is common in all metro systems around the world and in no way affects the safety of passengers. If that were the case, the station would have closed immediately.» Apart from damp patches on the walls of the newly opened station, plaster is also peeling off in some areas. Other stations, such as Monastiraki and Nomismatokopeio experience similar problems due to groundwater. Tsitouras said that such problems will not hold up the future expansion of the metro network. «The planned station in Piraeus will essentially have to be built below the water table, where there is also seawater,» he said. «But that will not be a problem if the appropriate measures are taken during construction.»