Within 24 hours of inauguration, part of underpass service road caves in
Barely 24 hours after an underpass below National Highway 8 connecting Mahipalpur and the Delhi airport was inaugurated, a section of one of its service roads, to be used for a U-turn above the underpass, caved in on Friday morning.
A truck was stuck in the caved-in road and later pulled out. The underpass was thrown open for traffic, along with two other flyovers in Mahipalpur and Aerocity near the airport, on Thursday by union minister for housing and urban affairs Hardeep Singh Puri.
Officials of the Central Public Works Department (CPWD), which built the facility, said the portion was covered temporarily with fillings as work to lay a pipeline underneath the road was yet to be carried out. The portion was to be covered permanently later.
Devinder Sehrawat, Aam Aadmi Party MLA from the area, released pictures of the cave-in on social media and blamed authorities for using “substandard” material and doing a “hasty inauguration”. The MLA demanded a third party audit of the project b and the quality of material used and its weight bearing capacity be tested under court supervision.
A senior CPWD official, associated with the project, said the portion where the truck was stuck was temporarily filled for the inauguration. “The work of laying the pipeline under the service road was needed. One lane was closed for traffic to carry out the work. Early in the morning, a truck loaded with goods came from the wrong direction and got stuck in the portion which was temporarily filled. The truck should not have been there in the first place,” the official said.
“We constructed a U-turn over the underpass but some small construction work regarding lying of the pipelines was remaining. It will take two to three days to complete the work. It could not be done earlier as a few pipes were to be embedded under the slip road and we didn’t have enough time,” the official added.
The underpass and the new flyovers, part of the Mahipalpur bypass project on the Vasant Kunj-Mahipalpur stretch, will cut time taken to reach the airport from Vasant Kunj, a distance of eight to nine km, by around 15-20 minutes.