Roads to both sides of Gurugram’s Iffco Chowk underpass cave in
The busy Iffco Chowk underpass on MG Road was damaged on Friday afternoon following an intense spell of rain. Surface roads on both sides of the underpass collapsed by three to four feet.
The cave-in of the road surface, up to 100 metres on both sides, also damaged the extension joints of the concrete wall, which led to spillage of rainwater inside the structure, according to officials of the highways authority.
Soon after the damage to the road was reported around 4pm, traffic police officers stopped the movement of traffic to the L-shaped underpass, which is used by commuters to move from Huda City Centre road to go towards Sikanderpur.
Officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), which has constructed the underpass, said that traffic movement will be halted until repair works are completed on both sides. They said that a large amount of water entered the underpass from the Sikanderpur side, leading to waterlogging on both sides of the road and subsequently, causing the cave-in.
The district administration said the city had received 32mm of rainfall till 5pm.
A BMW car that got stuck in the underpass, due to the accumulation of rainwater, had to be towed out. The water inside the underpass rose up to four feet and the level went down only after rainfall subsided, said officials.
The collapse of the road surface not only damaged the extension joints but also the canopy of the structure, which got disjointed at multiple points. These would also need to be repaired, said officials. A four-foot stretch of the road surface on both sides of the underpass has been damaged, an official said.
The 725-metre L-shaped underpass at Iffco Chowk was opened on March 17 this year, after its completion was delayed by a year and a half. It was part of the project to build flyovers and underpasses at three important junctions — Iffco Chowk, Rajiv Chowk and Signature Tower — of the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, at a cost of over ₹1,500 crore
“The underpass is designed to carry stormwater that comes from MG Road, but there is no provision to handle rainwater coming from Sikanderpur, Nathupur and adjoining areas. Water poured in like a stream, damaging the drains on both sides, leading to the cave-in,” Saurabh SInghal, NHAI consultant, said.
NHAI officials said that they would take up the issue of waterlogging with the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) as there is a need to augment the stormwater drainage at this spot. “Excess water from Sikanderpur had flooded the underpass last time as well, but on Friday, it caused damage to the road. We need to find a solution,” said Ashok Sharma, NHAI, project director.
Gawar Construction, the highway contractor, however, said that there was no damage to the structure of the underpass. “The repair work has been started. Due to damage to the drain, we will lay a pipeline of the same dimension so that rainwater can be transferred to the main drain,” said Ravinder Gawar, managing director of the firm, following a spot check.
The damage to the Iffco Chowk underpass is the fourth such incident in last one year, in which structures constructed by the NHAI on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway and Delhi-Jaipur highway have been damaged. In July 2019 and December 2018, the main carriageway of the Rampura flyover on Jaipur-Delhi highway was damage. The Hero Honda Chowk flyover has also been damaged twice in last one year, thus, raising concern among commuters.