Leaking sewers main culprit; civic body plans survey
Six months after a road caved in near Mahalaxmi, killing three, another cavity appeared on the same road on Wednesday, making it the third such incident in the Saat Rasta area and the sixth in South Mumbai in the past two years.
A leak in the main sewerage lines led to the incident. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is now planning a survey of roads across the older parts of Mumbai.
The stretch on Keshavrao Khade Marg (Saat Rasta) caved in, exposing an eight-feet deep and five-feet wide cavity, early on Wednesday morning. Residents said a part of the cavity appeared last night.
The stretch had collapsed twice last year, once along the Sane Guruji Marg and the other along the Keshavrao Khade Marg. Deputy municipal commissioner Prakash Patil said the cavity appeared on the same stretch, but on the opposite side. “The sewer lines are old and dilapidated and leakages have resulted in the soil washing out, weakening the ground base,” he said.
The old pipelines are being replaced at the spot. Only on Monday evening, the BMC was forced to halt the work of replacing the old sewer lines below Peddar Road, following opposition to the traffic diversions. The BMC has already warned that a portion of Peddar Road could be weak owing to the leaking sewers, whose replacement has already been delayed by 12 years.
Meanwhile, the civic administration has ordered an inquiry into the Saat Rasta incident. Officials said the roads in South Mumbai’s oldest quarters, plagued by dilapidated and rusty sewer and storm water lines below the surface, will be surveyed. “We are planning to carry out the survey in association with VJTI College. The survey will help us know whether there are similar leakages elsewhere,” a senior official said.
They are not ruling out the possibility of more such incidents in future. “There is nothing one can do except replace the old pipelines. The utilities laid during the British rule have collapsed and are leaking, loosening the soil and sucking in the top soil. This makes the road surface fragile and prone to cavities,” the officer said.
Deputy Municipal Commissioner (water supply projects) P Charankar said the civic administration is in the process of procuring the ground penetrating radar equipment.