A water body was discovered around seven metres under the 86-year-old heritage building of KEM hospital during the on-going restoration work.
A week ago when the workers were drilling the ground, water spouted out. On drilling further, the architects found flowing water below the main heritage building, which houses the hospital’s emergency services.
The discovery of the water body under the 5,23,400 sq ft sprawling campus has surprised hospital staff and doctors. “The porch of the casualty building has developed cracks. In order to find the reason for these cracks, we drilled the surrounding area to inspect the soil condition underneath and discovered the water body,” said Pankaj Joshi, who is part of the civic body’s heritage conservation committee.
To understand the nature of the water body, soil samples from the site were sent to the laboratory for investigations that revealed that an aquifer (water-bearing permeable rock) exists underground. “If we dig further, the water body will only grow bigger. Now, we will have to perform restoration in a way that this water does not affect the heritage structures,” Joshi said.
“Nowhere in the history of KEM hospital is there any mention of a water body. We will document this new discovery. The water has led to soil erosion affecting the structure and now the architects are planning to restore the structure in a way that allows the water to exist,” said Dr Sanjay Oak, dean of KEM Hospital.