Monsoon is yet to hit the Capital, but the roads here have already started giving way. A road in northwest Delhi's Wazirpur area caved in on Sunday.
The cave-in left a 15-ft deep crater and created major traffic chaos. The incident took place around 5.30 p.m.
The road has been laid over a sewerage pipeline that had been leaking for quite some time. The continuous leaking weakened the road that eventually caved in. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) maintains the road.
When pipes start leaking, the concrete and bitumen filling (layers of the road) are washed away, leaving massive holes in the road. This is the fifth incident of road cave-in in the city in the last two months. Three roads had caved in in May.
"There is a sewerage line beneath the road and due to leakages over a period of time it became soft and caved in. We have informed the Delhi Jal Board which will rectify the sewerage line and then we will reconstruct it," said Deep Mathur, MCD's press and information director. He added that the road has been cordoned off.
"They are constructing new roads everywhere in the city but are not able to maintain the existing ones," said Yameen Khan, a resident of NIMRI colony, Wazirpur.
According to the residents, the same road had caved in thrice last year but nothing much was done by the civic agency to avoid such a situation again.
Though ultrasonic technology is available to keep a tab on such leakages the civic agencies are busy passing the buck.
"A road should not be constructed over water or sewerage pipeline. Before a road is constructed, the water or sewerage pipeline is supposed to be either shifted underneath a footpath or on the side of the road to be constructed," said Sanjam Cheema, spokesperson of Delhi Jal Board that maintains sewerage and water pipelines in the city.
“We don't know how the road was constructed over a sewerage line. It is quite difficult to detect leakages underneath a road as the noise level is too much. If a sewerage line is underneath a road, it is quite natural that it may leak over a period of time,” she added.