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‘Faulty’ TenderSURE work triggers series of sinkholes

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After the road caved in at various spots, the police put up barricades for safety, causing a pile-up of vehicles on Nrupatunga Road and Seshadri Road.

Traffic was thrown out of gear on the busy Hudson Circle on Sunday when ‘faulty’ TenderSURE work on Nrupatunga Road led to the formation of multiple sinkholes.

Two autorickshaws and a bike got stuck in the sinkholes and the busy Central Business District area saw a traffic gridlock for more than five hours.

The first sinkhole appeared at the Nrupatunga Road Hudson Circle junction in front of HOPCOMS, at around 10.30 a.m. Minutes later, parts of the road sank at two spots towards the turn to N.R. Road. Mohammed Usman, an auto driver, said he was horrified when the road suddenly caved in and his autorickshaw tilted into a gaping hole. “Thankfully, I had no passengers and I escaped unhurt. But, the auto has been damaged,” he said.

The sinkholes are suspected to be caused by leakage in a water pipeline, which had led to erosion of the earth under the road. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), which is carrying out TenderSURE work on Nrupatunga Road, had worked on replacing a water pipeline over the past three days and had closed the dug-up area.

“It’s a crucial water supply pipeline of 200 mm diameter. Following the report of completion of work by the BBMP, we released water into the pipeline around 1.30 a.m. We inspected the spot and realised that the BBMP work was faulty and the pipeline damaged, letting water out into the earth,” said B. Suresha, executive engineer, Central division, Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB).

BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad said contractors and officials carrying out the TenderSURE work were yet to identify the exact spot where the pipeline has been damaged. “The TenderSURE team claims to have completed their work at the spot two days ago. We will fix it at the earliest,” he said.

Traffic in CBD affected

The series of sinkholes at Hudson Circle and the rush at Lalbagh for the ongoing flower show hit traffic in the Central Business District from afternoon through evening on Sunday.

After the road at Hudson Circle caved in at multiple spots, the police immediately barricaded the area for safety, causing an immediate pile-up of vehicles on Nrupatunga Road and Seshadri Road. This had a snowball effect and there were traffic snarls on areas as far as J.C. Road, K.R. Market, S.P. Road and even Kasturba Road and Richmond Road. The traffic gridlock took nearly five hours to be cleared.

  1. Hithendra, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), said they had expected a lot of traffic to Lalbagh but the sinkholes had added to the chaos. “We hope the sinkholes are filled up and the junction opened to traffic by Monday morning. Else, there will be more congestion,” he said.
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