Special Correspondent

Inquiry report to be submitted in a week

Talks held to identify reasons for the incident

Road to remain closed to traffic until repairs are carried out

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Thiruvananthapuram Development Authority (Trida) on Thursday decided to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the collapse of a section of the Palayam Baker road on Wednesday.

Authority chairman C. Ajayakumar said Trida secretary Dileepkumar would conduct the inquiry into the incident. The inquiry report would be submitted in a week, he said.

Mr. Ajaykumar held discussions with Trida officials in a bid to identify the reasons for the collapse.

The discussions centred on two main points, namely, the failure to provide a slope for the sheer wall bordering the road on the other side of the Sanskrit College campus and the possibility of water seepage under the road base.

Officials pointed out that while a culvert had been provided for one of the drains emanating from the Sanskrit college side, another drain reached a dead end.

They said there was a possibility that the water from the second drain was accumulating near the base of the road, leading to erosion and subsequent weakening of the elevated carriageway.

“Trida is taking the incident seriously. After all, we had spent Rs.65 lakh on the project. The preliminary inquiry is expected to throw light on the reasons behind the collapse,” Mr. Ajayakumar said.

He added that no project previously undertaken by the contractor had similar problems.

He said the Palayam Baker road would remain closed to traffic until the necessary repairs were carried out. “We are not taking any chances,” he said.

Nexus alleged

Local people alleged that an unholy nexus between Trida officials and contactors was responsible for the collapse.

They said the retaining wall was built by simply stacking granite blocks without providing adequate slope and without cementing.

People in the neighbourhood said they were living in the shadow of fear. They were afraid that the remaining portion of the wall would collapse soon, endangering life and property.

With the collapse of the retaining wall, the street below the elevated road has become dangerous. Residents on this street are forced to take a circuitous route to reach Jacob’s junction.

The closure of the Baker road has also deprived the busy commercial area of valuable parking space.