A four-foot section of Peddar Road right outside Jaslok Hospital caved in on Monday afternoon, choking peak-hour traffic later in the evening.
The incident is the third of its kind in south Mumbai in as many months.
As with most of the earlier incidents, Monday’s cave-in occurred when a stone structure placed on top of a dhapa drain underneath the road, collapsed.
The civic administration rushed a team to the spot, even as the traffic police shepherded traffic around the cavity.
“As soon as we got the news, we sent our staff to the spot and began working on the problem,” said Parag Masurkar, ward officer of D-ward. Masurkar said the lanes around Peddar Road were opened to traffic to avoid a jam on the stretch.
The traffic police put in place several diversions to ease traffic in the evening. Part of the south-bound stretch of Peddar Road was used for peak-hour north-bound traffic. Vehicles were diverted from Wilson College to Nana Chowk to Bhatia Road to Tardeo. Despite the damage-control measures, traffic jams were reported in several spots around the area.
South Mumbai MP Milind Deora flayed the civic administration over the issue. “It is unfortunate that the BMC still can’t get its act together in this regard, that too just a few months after the BMC elections when both parties had promised to fix the problem,” he said.
The decades-old dhapa drains, which run beneath Peddar road, have crumbled at several stretches on Peddar Road, leading to road cave-ins. “The dhapa drains are old and sometimes start leaking. The leaks weaken the structure and the road caves in under pressure,” said a senior civic official on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The official added that even if a flyover is to be constructed above Peddar Road, a lot of care will have to be taken to ensure these drains are not damaged. Officials also said that to replace these drains, the busy road will have to be shut, which seems impossible in the absence of a suitable alternative road.