A portion of the busy arterial Ghatkopar link road caved in on Wednesday, leaving a fissure two metres wide and 10 feet deep.
The cement concrete road just outside Pant Nagar bus depot caved in when a dumper was passing over it. The right rear wheel of the dumper got stuck in the cavity and the dumper tilted to its left. The precariously balanced truck had to be removed by the fire brigade. The driver of the dumper, Arjun Devpur, jumped out as soon as the truck tilted.
Traffic in the area was affected as two lanes were barricaded while civic officials tried to spot the leak and ascertain the cause of the cave-in.
According to officials from the local ward office, the reason for the cave-in could be the leak in the old sewer line that runs under the road, or the fact that the cave-in spot is very close to the creek. “The spot is within 50 metres of Ghatkopar creek and the soil must have disintegrated due to the constant flow of water leading to the cavity,” a civic official said.
He added that the sewer line that runs under the 60 feet road is connected to the Ghatkopar pumping station and to reduce the chances of a recurrence in future, the BMC’s sewage department will be conducting a condition survey of the line.
“When we excavated the pit, it was hollow. The water had eroded the soil over a long period of time,” a senior civic official said.
The road was being maintained by the MMRDA and was concretised 15 years ago.
The lifespan of a cement concrete road is around 30-40 years. “The problem with CC roads is that they do not show signs of distress, but directly collapse,” another official said.
Assistant municipal commissioner SAK Bargir said the entire area is marshland and had been reclaimed 50 years ago. This is the second major cave-in on a cement concrete road in the last 10 days.
On December 6, a portion of the busy link road near Kandivli sank due a leak in the water main.This is the sixth major cave-in this year.
The city has been witnessing such incidents frequently because the underground utilities have corroded and developed cracks causing soil under the road to erode. This leads to cavities under the road and eventually, to a cave-in.