Friday rain leads to road cave-ins at three spots near MDI Chowk

Gurugram: 19 May, 2019 (Hindustan Times)

GMDA officials blame DHBVN for not carrying out thermal contraction; power discom cites road widening, civic work

GURUGRAM : A spell of rain that lashed the city on Friday night led to the cave-in of roads at three spots near MDI Chowk. Traffic police barricaded two of the spots early Saturday.

All the cave-ins took place to the extreme left side of the carriageway, ferrying traffic from the Signature Towers underpass towards Atul Kataria Marg, on the unnamed sector road.

No snarl was reported on the stretch due to the low volume of vehicles on the weekend, the police said. The first cave-in was next to the MDI bus stop, just 20 metres before the left exit, which takes commuters towards the Mehrauli-gurgaon Road, with authorities blocking the affected spot with barricades.

The second cave-in was reported right below the MDI Chowk flyover. Initially, traffic police officials had placed traffic cones around the affected spot, to caution commuters.

Around 11am, they filled the collapsed portion with loose soil and levelled it, although traffic cones continued to remain at the spot.

The third cave-in was reported just 50 metres ahead of the second spot. Commuters travelling straight from Signature Towers, and those travelling along MG Road who take the service lane of the MDI Chowk flyover and take a left to head towards Atul Kataria Chowk, encountered the cave-in.

However, the nearly twothree-foot deep cave-in was left uncovered and there was no barricading or placement of traffic cones to alert commuters.

Traffic police officials said that they discovered the cave-ins around 9am, following which they started issuing warnings and alerts over social media to ensure commuters did not face a problem navigating the area.

“We learnt about the cave-ins on Saturday morning and quickly barricaded the affected spots. We informed the authorities concerned and also sent out updates via social media to alert commuters. Once the portion below the flyover became dry, we levelled it with soil.the spot ahead of the flyover was left without any barricade as road widening work is going on at the stretch, for which excavation was soon going to take place anyway,” said Jai Prakash, inspector, traffic police.

Authorities passed the onus of the collapses onto each other.

“As part of the Smart Grid project, Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) officials had laid down cables at the spot. However, they had not carried out the thermal contraction of the road properly. As a result, the road was not properly joined, which led to its collapse,” said Lalit Arora, chief engineer of Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA).

Vineeta Singh, the executive engineer of DHBVN, who is overlooking the Smart Grid project, refuted the GMDA’S claim and said that road widening work and laying of pipelines could be the reason for the road collapses around MDI Chowk.

“DHBVN officials had laid cables for the Smart Grid Project around MDI Chowk and found that the contraction work had been done according to norms. The GMDA is widening the road and also laying drainage pipelines at the stretch, which could have weakened the structural integrity of the road and contributed to its collapse,” said Singh.

Traffic police officials said that the barricades at the bus stop would continue to remain until it is covered with soil, while the portion below the flyover is expected to open for traffic on Sunday afternoon, once they are certain that the soil placed on top is tightly packed.