Sinkhole develops on J.C. Road causing traffic to pile up


‘They are usually formed when there is leakage of water or sewage below the road’

A portion of the busy J.C. Road near Ravindra Kalakshetra caved in early Thursday morning, resulting in a sinkhole, almost eight feet deep and a few feet wide. Though the sinkhole was large enough to cause accidents, there were fortunately no incidents as the road caved when there was no traffic.

“If it had happened even a few hours later, there would have been bumper-to-bumper traffic which could have led to accidents,” said Mutturaj, a private firm employee who takes the road every day.

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A large part of the road was blocked as earth movers were brought in to dig the hole further so that it could be refilled. This threw traffic out of gear for almost the entire day on the busy J.C. Road, which in turn resulted in pile ups in the Central Business District.

B.S. Prahalad, chief engineer (Road Infrastructure), BBMP, said the sinkhole was formed due to erosion of soil from below the road surface. “Such sinkholes are usually formed when there is a leakage in water or sewage below the road. With excessive seepage, water carries soil particles to the lowest level, causing a cavity below the road surface. If utility lines are punctured, soil enters the pipeline and sub-soil volume gets reduced, also causing a cavity,” he explained.

He added that in Bengaluru, horizontal drilling for the laying of optical fiber cables and Bescom power lines often punctures water and sewage lines below the road. “Other causes for such sinkholes may be if any old wells are closed or if any excavation work is taken up nearby. But in this case, we have almost ruled out these causes,” he said.

BBMP has taken up work to fill the sinkhole. “The point of leakage will be identified and addressed, after which the sinkhole will be filled with sand, boulders, wet mix macadam which has good water drainage properties and these will be laid layer by layer and compacted,” Mr. Prahalad added.

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The condition of the city’s roads has come under severe criticism of late, even by ruling party BJP MLAs. Mahadevapura MLA Arvind Limbavali had recently raised the issue in the ongoing winter session of Karnataka Legislature in Belagavi and said there was no coordination between agencies. This, he argued, was having a direct adverse impact on the condition of roads. In September, a large sinkhole was formed on Tannery Road due to the tunnelling work by Namma Metro. Fortunately, no one was harmed in that incident as well.



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Sagar Biswas

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