Road caves in near Rajiv Chowk, second such incident in nine days
A nine square-metre wide portion of the road caved in on the carriageway from Bakhtawar Chowk to the unidirectional Rajiv Chowk underpass on Sunday afternoon, with officials reopening the affected stretch only 24 hours after it was repaired.
Around 4.30pm on Monday, the stretch was reopened for vehicular movement, after being filled with loose soil.
The road caved in the middle lane of the carriageway, almost equidistant from the boundary walls of Medanta Hospital and the Tau Devi Lal complex.
Officials of the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), both, passed the buck with none taking any responsibility for the road.
GMDA superintending engineer for projects and infrastructure Jitender Mittal said that the stretch “belongs to the NHAI and the GMDA had no part in repairing it”, while Ashok Sharma, project director of the NHAI said that the road was under the GMDA’s jurisdiction.
“The cave-in took place on a GMDA road, as confirmed by our engineers. This is not part of our infrastructure project in the vicinity, as it is far away from our project near OBC Bank on the other carriageway and SAS tower on the same carriageway,” said Sharma.
The development took place soon after a moderate spell of rain led to three cave-ins on roads near MDI Chowk on May 18.
Traffic police officials at the spot said that after learning of the cave-in, they had cordoned off the affected spot on Choudhary Bakhtawar Singh Road around 3.30pm on Sunday and installed barricades around it. This caused a minor snarl on the carriageway on Monday morning.
Meanwhile, experts expressed concern over the increasing number of instances of cave-ins in the city.
“Road cave-ins is a serious concern as it signifies that the road’s surface is disintegrating and the base is not able to support its weight. It can lead to accidents and fatalities. Hence, tests to check the structural integrity need to take place, especially since the monsoon is around the corner and road quality will be affected,” said Sarika Panda Bhatt, programme coordinator with Haryana Vision Zero.