Several arterial roads of the Capital crumbled under heavy showers on Saturday, exposing the lack of proper drainage, maintenance and modern technology in laying roads.
While road-owning agencies were busy shifting the blame to each other, experts cited the now much known reasons: overloaded drainage system, rusted pipelines and poor workmanship by contractors while laying or repairing the roads.
A part of Mehrauli-Badarpur Road (MB Road), near Saket Metro Station in South Delhi, caved in after the downpour. The public works department (PWD) blamed it on a “cavity” beneath the road and leakage in sewage lines that washed off the soil, causing the cave-in.
Besides, roads broke at several other points, including Shahjahan Road near Jam Nagar House, Patel Nagar near Kirti Nagar Metro station, Maharaja Ranjeet Singh Marg and Bhisham Pitamah Marg near Kotla Mubarakpur, affecting traffic movement not only on Saturday but also on Sunday.
SM Sarin, former director, Central Road Research Institute, feels the problem is primarily because of the poor drainage system.
“It is outdated and needs immediate revamp. The water goes in the sub grids and the lack of proper drainage results in more weak points.
The sub grid’s optimum moisture content gets saturated and its bearing capacity goes down, triggering cave-ins,” said Sarin. He said that the quality of construction is also a factor.
“Government engineers should ensure quality control over projects undertaken by the private contractors,” he said.Road engineers believe ongoing construction activities have also taken a toll on Delhi roads.
They say the agencies that repair roads often leave the work half done, which leads to soil erosion and road cave-ins.
PWD engineer-in-chief Dinesh Kumar said whenever a road sinks due to leakage in water or sewer network, they take up the matter with the department concerned and initiate repair immediately.