No lessons learnt from road cave-ins

MC officials study cave-in near Saggu Chowk to know reason behind the collapse

No lessons learnt from road cave-ins

The portion of the road that caved in near Saggu Chowk in Ludhiana. Photo: Ashwani Dhiman

Harshraj Singh

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 6

Learning no lessons from a spate of road cave-ins in various parts of the city in past years, the MC has failed to take any concrete measures to avert such incidents. The safety of commuters is being ignored on roads.

Now, questions are again raised over the role of the civic body after a portion of a road caved in near Saggu Chowk on Kaka Marriage Palace–Dhami Eye Hospital Road on Sunday. It is a busiest road which links Ferozepur Road and Hambran Road.

Some wires are passing underground the damaged portion of the road near the chowk. It is being checked whether any damage was caused to any water or sewer pipe when these wires were installed.

We have dug up the damaged site near Saggu Chowk that is under observation. A pipe of a nearby road gully was also found broken. However, we are trying to know the reason behind the cave-in. —Ravinder Garg, Superintending Engineer

However, the reason behind this recent cave in is yet to be known and the damaged road portion is not repaired so far.

It is learnt that the old sewerage system (made of bricks), which is said to be over 50 years’ old, is passing beneath the road. During some past incidents of cave-ins on the road, questions were raised over underground wires and old sewerage system.

MC SDO Anshul Garcha said they were checking the site and analysing the cave-in site near Saggu Chowk. Superintending Engineer Ravinder Garg said: “We have dug up the damaged site that is still under observation. We found that three-four cables are passing under the damaged portion. A pipe of a nearby road gully was also found broken. However, we are trying to know the actual reason behind the cave-in.”

In 2011, a truck driver died after a big portion of Kaka Marriage Palace Road caved in and the vehicle he was driving fell into it. In 2013, a 90-ft-long and 8-ft-deep crater had formed near Dhami Eye Hospital on the same road. Some persons had then blamed the illegal installation of underground wires for damaging the old sewer line of the MC.

In 2014, a loaded truck got stuck after a portion of the road had caved in near Dhami Hospital. A portion of the road had also caved in around two years ago. Now, another cave-in has raised questions that when the civic body will take steps to prevent such incidents.

Councillor from Ward No. 76 Gurpreet Gogi said: “Kaka Marriage Palace Road is a prominent stretch as it links Ferozepur Road and Hambran Road. In past years, various points of the road had caved-in. The underground wires have been installed in a wrong manner. When improper drilling of the road is done for installation of wires, it causes damage to water or sewer pipes. When water leaks from the damaged pipes, soil erosion takes place and it leads to cave-in. Besides, the sewerage system that is passing beneath the road is more than 50 years’ old and there is a dire need to replace the system on the stretch.”

Major cave-ins on city roads

The major cave-ins have appeared on various city roads, including Chandigarh Road, Pakhowal Road, Kailash Cinema Road, Ghumar Mandi, near Aarti Chowk on Ferozepur Road and Shastri Nagar in the past.

Notably, portion of Chandigarh Road near Jamalpur Chowk had caved-in from both sides in 2019. A 20-ft-long and 6-ft-deep crater had formed near Hotel Nav Classic on Chandigarh Road in 2014 while a 10-ft-long and 20-ft-deep crater had appeared near USPC Jain School on Chandigarh Road in 2015.

In 2017, a school bus got stuck in a crater as a road portion caved in at the Kochar Market intersection. However, tragedy was averted as the driver had immediately stopped the bus.

Underground wires installed sans nod

Sources said underground wires were installed without any permission in the city areas in the past by telecommunication companies. Even if permission was taken, such wires were commonly installed in the absence of civic body staff at various sites, the sources added.

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