Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Dream turns into a nightmare

Dream turns into a nightmare
By S Lalitha, DH News Service, Bangalore:
A vital road that links Shanti Nagar to different parts of the City caved in last week and has been sealed off now by the BBMP following the collapse.

The sole reason for this disaster on Lakshmi Road, Fifth Cross, is the deep digging work undertaken by a private contractor for an upcoming mall, allege residents.

`Live a dream’ says the tag line along with the name Vaswani Group displayed on boards all around the construction spot. Unfortunately, work carried out by its contractor, Gina Engineering Company Private Limited, has transformed the dream into a nightmare for residents here.

It has been a horrendous week for residents who are forced to take a circuitous route to enter or leave the place. It is this stretch that is used by residents of Shanti Nagar to reach M G Road, Majestic, K R Market and Koramangala, among other areas. The water pipe too broke down depriving the residents of drinking water for a week but it has been set right now by the contractor, residents said.

Recounting the crash which took place on August 20, Pradeep, a salesman at a stationery shop at Fifth Cross, says, “We heard a deafening sound around 3.30 pm, we thought it was an earthquake.”

A resident Kariappa said, earthmovers had dug upto 15 feet below the ground and the rainwater started stagnating there. “Soil from the surrounding areas were sucked in by the water causing the road to collapse. As this road was blocked, all vehicles started taking the tiny lane in front of my house which was already brittle due to the construction going on for quite some time. We blocked the road on our own for two days but have opened it now.”

There are a couple of narrow lanes around the 5th Cross but they can’t bear the density of traffic. “We have to travel upto K H Road and then return to Langford Road which makes us travel an extra two kilometres,” said Charan, the local cable operator. Business on this road has considerably dipped. Vijay, who runs a gift shops, says that business has plunged by 50% following the road closure.

Water supply was disrupted as an underground pipe was damaged due to construction works “We suffered for six days but the supply was restored for the last three days,” said a resident Yogendra.

Residents also complain that the construction work at night has also disturbed their sleep.

Safety Manager at Gina Engineering however denied all the allegations. “There was sewage leak from the drain due to heavy rains that took place last Wednesday and caused the road collapse. We are not responsible for it in anyway.” He also denied carrying out any construction activity during the nights. Despite repeated attempts, BBMP engineers could not be contacted for their comments.


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