Change in aquifer is believed to have reduced the bearing capacity of soil

Even as the civil engineering expert committee is preparing its report on the sinking structure of the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB) at Ammankulam here, authorities have begun removing bricks on the building to reduce the load in order to cope with the fall in bearing capacity of the soil.

The sudden fall in the bearing capacity is suspected to have been caused by change in aquifer at the site.

As part of the Jawarhalal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), the civic body and TNSCB are constructing tenements for removal of slums in and along water bodies and canals. Of the 9,600 tenements, the works in respect of 3,840 rest with TNSCB.

Of the 1,608 units planned by TNSCB in the first phase, 936 are being constructed on nine acres out of the total area of 15 acres.

The site is an abandoned water body, which was later classified as natham poromboke.

In 2008, after a soil test was conducted after excavating soil for a depth of 3.75 metres, construction began.

Last Friday, one of the structures having 48 dwelling units started sinking. By Tuesday it had sunk 50 cm. The construction was almost nearing completion.

The three-member expert committee is to submit its report, based on which the government will decide the further course of action.

The decision to retain the ground floor of the building or ground floor with first floor and removal of the second and third floors and even complete demolition of the structure will be taken by the government based on the findings of the committee.