Hyderabad: Motorists moving from Ameerpet to Khairatabad on Friday were caught in some nasty traffic as a portion of an old slab, laid over a storm water drain at Punjagutta collapsed, clogging up the traffic flow. Located near Model House, the slab over the drain gave way in the early hours of Friday. A pipeline was laid to facilitate smooth flow of rain water sometime last year at the same spot. The re-carpeting work to level the dug up area was allegedly not conducted properly, resulting in the incident.
The slab laid was affected by the incessant rain and water inundation, loosening the soil underneath. This is the second time in the year that the road has given way. While there were no casualties, traffic up to a three kilometre stretch from Ameerpet to Khairatabad, Lakadi-ka-pul and Punjagutta was caught in major gridlocks, bringing commuters to a grinding halt for several hours.
Unable to cope with the huge gridlocks, traffic police closed the vehicular movement on the Punjagutta stretch. As it turns out, if there had been no government holiday on Friday, the traffic jams could have been more severe and traumatic for commuters. Several 108 Ambulances and private ambulances services got stuck in the traffic causing inconvenience in shifting patients to hospitals.
A portion of an old slab, laid over a storm water drain at Punjagutta collapsed, clogging up the traffic flow.
The traffic police also diverted all APSRTC buses between Khairatabad and Punjagutta X Roads, and blocked RTC buses and other heavy vehicles coming from Ameerpet towards Punjagutta. Instead they were diverted from Ameerpet via Greenlands, Somajiguda and Raj Bhavan road, joining at Khairatabad junction. Similarly, buses coming from Khairatabad junction towards Ameerpet were diverted via KCP junction, Banjara Hills, KBR Park road and NFCL Junction, joining the traffic at Punjagutta X Road.
With repair work by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) going on, traffic chaos is expected to prevail for another two to three days. According to traffic police and locals, the collapse occurred between 3 and 3:30 am as a heavy vehicle carrying cement bags passed over the storm water drain. The vehicle did not get stuck in the drain.
GHMC Commissioner, M T Krishna Babu, zonal commissioner, central zone, Siva Parvathi and GHMC engineer-inchief, R Dhan Singh and other senior officials rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation. The restoration of the damaged portion has been going on, on a war footing. The road will be restored in two days time and traffic will be allowed, the GHMC commissioner clarified.
Criminal cases will be booked against the contractor for failure to complete the drain work on time and also action will be initiated against the officials for dereliction of duties, Krishna Babu said.
The GHMC has taken up underground tunnel works near Model House as part of widening the storm water drain which starts near GVK Mall, Banjara Hills and connects to the drain near Yashoda Hospital in Somajiguda. Since cutting the road would create traffic problems on the arterial road, GHMC officials have proposed to take up underground tunnelling works. Though work began a year ago, tunnelling could not be taken up as water pipelines and other cable wires had to be shifted.
GHMC officials said the tunnelling works resumed at the Model House after the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board and BSNL shifted their lines. Labour Minister D Nagender along with basthi leaders inspected the spot and reaffirmed that the restoration works would be completed at the earliest.