The authorities, who have been caught on the wrong foot with collapse of the Kottayam-Kumarakom Road at Arupuzha near Thazhathangadi which has been witnessing major developmental works, have instituted an inquiry into the incident.

The Revenue Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan on the side lines of the review meeting held here on Monday said that an inquiry has been instituted as to ascertain the cause of the road cave in. Based on the findings steps would be initiated, he said. A team of experts under the leadership of K V Sujil, Head of the Soil Investigation Wing at the department of civil engineering at College of Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram (CET) would arrive here on Tuesday to commence studies.

A revised estimate for the construction of the sidewall and development of the road on the Thazhathangadi stretch could be finalized after April 13, when the studies were over, he said.

Meanwhile, it has been pointed out that the protection wall of the road on the Meenachil river side has not received any damage. The road, which developed a crack nearly five meters inside, by the middle of the road, had caved in, taking the wall along with it. The wall had been constructed under River protection scheme and piling works had been done from nine meter depth. Only those procedural formalities prescribed for it, had been followed.

The area had been venue to one of the most intense unauthorized sand mining business and this might have its effect on the soil condition, it is pointed out. The area also happens to be a bend on the river Meenachil. As such water current too might have its impact. However, the standard methodology being followed in the river protection programme do not have scope for taking up such detailed studies.

A detailed study by experts would help to pin point the real issues involved, so that the road development programme could be completed on time, preferably before the on set of the monsoon, the Minister said.

Meanwhile the fate of the newly constructed walk way over Meenachil river at Thazhathangadi is also hanging fire. The bridge, just less than 100 mts from the Arupuzha stretch was expected to be commissioned on April 14, but the commissioning date has been postponed following Sunday’s mishap. The bridge can carry 25 persons at any moment of time, but during Sunday’s disaster nearly 200 had climbed on to it to have a view of the incident. Sunday’s disaster has also cast a shadow on the security of the walkway.

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