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Want Peddar Road cave-ins to stop? Wait for the flyover

It will be a long while before there is a permanent solution to the frequent cave-ins on Peddar Road.

mumbai Updated: Jul 14, 2012 00:54 IST
Kunal Purohit and Alok Deshpande
Kunal Purohit and Alok Deshpande
Hindustan Times

It will be a long while before there is a permanent solution to the frequent cave-ins on Peddar Road. The civic body has said that the century-old drains running beneath Peddar Road, which have led to several cave-ins — the most recent one on Wednesday night — will be repaired only once work on the flyover begins.

The controversial Peddar Road flyover was first proposed in 1999 but has not taken off because of vehement protests by residents. Work on the flyover is unlikely to begin anytime soon.

“The dhapa drains (a type of piped drain built by the British) beneath Peddar Road lie at the centre of the road. It is difficult to dig up the road and strengthen these drains because of the traffic. Hence, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation will strengthen these drains when they construct the flyover,” said LS Vhatkar, chief engineer, storm water drain, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

Civic officials will meet additional municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta on Tuesday to discuss the possible solutions to the Peddar Road problem.

“We need to know the exact status of pipelines which run below the road. Even if the proposal to build a flyover moves ahead, tremendous care has to be taken to ensure that concrete blocks do not harm the drains below,” said Gupta.

“If we decide to change the old drains now, we will have to close the road for some time. This seems impossible,” he added. Peddar Road is the only road connecting the suburbs to the island city.

Civic officials said that there is no alternate road that can be used if Peddar Road is closed for few days to repair the drains. Between 2008 and 2009, there have been at least three cave-ins at different spots along the stretch.

Meanwhile, the 4-feet large crater that was created after the road caved in near Gamadia junction on Wednesday has been filled with cement and concrete. After hours of chaos, traffic returned to normal on Thursday evening.

First Published: Jul 14, 2012 00:52 IST