Metro rail tunnelling work wreaked havoc in Seven Wells on Tuesday, after grout, a construction material used to fill voids and seal joints, entered a shop through a bore well opening, and severely damaged it.
“On Monday, I shut the shop around 7 p.m. When I opened the shop the next morning, I found myself immersed in about four feet of slush. All my products have become unusable now and I have incurred a loss of nearly Rs. 3 lakh,” said Shahul Hameed, the shopkeeper whose marine spare parts shop on Second Narayanan Street has been affected. Mr. Hameed has been selling marine spare parts here for the last two-and-half years.
Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) is currently working on the construction of an underground station in Washermanpet, close to Seven Wells.
As part of the work that has been going on in Washermanpet since October, grouting — a process that helps in firming the soil above the tunnel — was being done on Sunday night. During the process, grout entered a borewell opening inside the shop under high pressure, resulting in the slush inside, said a CMRL official.
“We had issued notices to everyone, requesting declaration of borewells before the tunnelling work began. In this case, they did not inform us of the presence of a borewell inside the shop. Had they, we would have closed the borewell opening,” the official said.
However, Mr. Hameed said he was not aware of the borewell opening inside the shop. “When I rented this space, the owner did not mention the borewell. And so I didn’t declare it,” he said.
On Wednesday afternoon, CMRL officials transferred the damaged products in the shop to the metro site. “We have shifted the products so that a third party can evaluate the extent of the damage, and we may then compensate the shopkeeper,” said the official.
Talking of the difficulties while shifting facilities such as borewells, CMRL Chief General Manager (construction) V Somasundaram said that, for safety reasons people must volunteer and declare the borewells in their residences or commercial establishments. “Facilities such as borewells may be laid long back and several people may have shifted from the place. If they intimate just when the problem begins, we may halt work at once and resolve the problem. We urge people to
declare borewells, if any, to avoid any unforeseen problems,” he said. s
Keywords: Metro rail tunnelling work