A day after part of a road in Kalachowkie collapsed, a storm water drain (SWD) running beneath it collapsed, on Tuesday.
Civic officials said cracks were detected in the 2.5-mtr, 125-year-old double-barrel drain, which ran 15 feet under the surface of the road. Due to the pressure of the debris, the drain cracked open, resulting in significant water loss.
Work to excavate Monday’s cavity, to remove the debris and open up the adjoining area, has begun and is estimated to take 15 days.
“When we started to excavate, we noticed the debris was wet, which is when we realised the drain must have cracked open, since there are no other utilities beneath it,” said a civic official at the site.
Confirming the incident, Chief Engineer (SWD), Chandrakant Watve said the drain was a pre-Independence brick-and-masonry arch drain. “We’re investigating to determine the extent of damage and will appoint a consultant to help fix the problem,” said Watve.
Officials also said the SWD leak could be the reason for Monday’s cave-in. “It looks like the SWD burst is the main cause, but we are also looking at the other utilities. There are no other utilities in immediate proximity to the portion that caved in, but those that are leaking nearby may have also weakened the patch. Our inspection is still on,” said A V Ralkar, chief engineer (Roads).
A cavity 10 feet deep and 10x20 m across was created at Shravan Yashwant Chowk off P D’Mello Road at Kalachowkie in front of a BEST bus stop on Monday. Civic sources also said that apart from the age of the drain, the other possible reason for the SWD’s collapse could be seawater entering the SWD, which emerges at the Britannia outfall barely two km from the spot.