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Friday, July 6, 2012

CRATER MUMBAI Suman Nagar stretch pockmarked three weeks after inauguration

Mumbai: Commuters and experts expressed concern over the unsettling of two manholes on a paver-blocked road within three weeks of opening of the railway bridge at Suman Nagar junction on the eastern express highway. 

    They said it had again shown lack of quality in construction work, like last year, when TOI exposed potholes on the newly-built Lalbaug and Burfiwala flyovers. 
    In the second week of June, Mumbai's biggest traffic bottleneck was cleared, saving over 12 minutes of travel time. A road below the newly-widened rail bridge was opened to south-bound traffic from Navi Mumbai six months after a north-bound flyover was commissioned. Experts had lauded the engineering feat. 
    The unsettling of the manholes resulted in newly-fitted blocks around giving way in 
the rains, creating a crater; the area has been barricaded for repairs. 
    Aaditya Solkar said, "Both manhole covers lost their levels with the paver-blocked por
tion. One cannot make out the pothole from a distance." Mayuresh Shetty, a Suman Nagar resident, said there are chances of a major accident. The manholes are for cable ducts and MTNL needs time to redo them after the paverblocking of the stretch. Lack of coordination among agencies ahead of the monsoon exposed the fact that they can't put team work to ensure a smoother ride at least on newly-built projects. 
    "It's amazing when planners create a beautiful model on the drawing board and contractors do a shoddy job," said an expert working with the state government. 
    MSRDC chief engineer Arun Deodhar said work on the stretch was still on. Contractor V B Naik said MTNL would work on the manholes and only after that they could relay the blocks. MTNL officials were not available for comment. 

HOLES IN ENGINEERING FEAT 

    The Suman Nagar rail bridge expansion project started in 2006 
    Two cement concrete box tunnels were pushed under the railway line to create parallel access to traffic from Navi Mumbai 
    Earlier, traffic from Navi Mumbai (from Pune and Goa) and from Thane would come together under the old single rail bridge, creating a jam 
    Attempts to push the tunnels, without disturbing railway line, failed in 2008
    Even after removing the rail line, the concrete tunnel boxes didn't get pushed 
    Project, on which nearly Rs 6.5 crore was spent, was abandoned. Authorities went 
in for a steel bridge 
    The new project, costing around Rs 13 crore, was started in 2009, but it faced the hurdle of underground utilities 
    In June 2012, stretch for south-bound traffic from Navi Mumbai was opened 

    This bridge and a new flyover for Navi Mumbaibound traffic segregated Navi Mumbai, Pune and Goa traffic from Thane, making available six more lanes besides the existing six 
    MMRDA funded the project, MSRDC executed it with contractor's help
Times View 
    Anew road not being able to take a few days of moderately heavy rainfall is a pointer to all that is wrong with Mumbai's infrastructure. The impunity with which contractors, many of them with a history of shoddy work, continue to operate also indicates official collusion. It's a shame that agencies, with annual budgets of hundreds of crores, cannot provide decent roads. Taxpayers' money should be accorded a lot more respect.

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