Work on the 'magic ready-to-fit' underpass, which was earlier scheduled to be completed in 72 hours from the start at 10 a.m. on January 16, will now take another 10 days.This is because of uncontrollable water seepage from the huge underground water lines detected while excavating the earth.Regretting the delay, Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner S. Subramanya told presspersons on Saturday that 'he committed a mistake by having announced a 72-hour deadline for the project."
“I am sorry for not being able to meet the deadline. I should have made statements only after the work. I regret the delay and the resultant inconvenience caused to citizens. Work has slowed down because of the wet surface in the trenches. We may require another 10 days for completing the project. But I assure you that we will complete it at the earliest,” Mr. Subramanya said.
Denying that the delay in the work would escalate the project cost, he said the contracts had been awarded on the basis of the quantity of elements required to be placed for the facility. But contractors executing the Rs. 1.5-crore project told The Hindu that the cost might go up by 25 per cent.
“With an extended deadline, our costs on men, material and fuel for the heavy duty machines will go up by 25 per cent,” one of the three contractors handling the project said.
One abandoned and two live water lines, apart from two minor sewerage lines passing beneath the area where the proposed ramp for the underpass has to be laid, were detected only during excavation.
Asked why these lines were not traced during the Ground Penetration Radar (GPR) tests done before the start of work, the commissioner said the lines were those that had been laid prior to 1900, during the British regime.
“These lines were found at a depth of 5.2 metres from the ground level, whereas GPR equipment can penetrate only up to two to three metres,” he said.
Refusing to set a deadline for the other six proposed “ready-to-fit” underpasses at various junctions, the commissioner said they would be taken up in a phased manner after completing the Cauvery junction facility.
Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) chairperson Latha Krishna Rao, who denied that the board did not have a master plan of water pipelines in the city, said: “We have maps of utilities that were laid after 1900. As these lines were laid much before that, we were not aware of their location.”
The board was set up in the 1950s and water supply prior to that was taken care by the erstwhile BMP.
“But even we do not have any maps with regard to these lines,” Mr Subramanya pointed out.
Ms. Latha Krishna Rao said the seepage was being plugged and it would not affect the underpass work in the future.
“This is a dream project, an innovative experiment that will surely see success in the next 10 days. Probably, if we had more time and had knowledge of their existence, we could have shifted them before work started. We will ensure that all such lines are shifted in advance for all other projects and such a situation will not repeat,” she said.
Monday, January 21, 2008
BWSSB Master plane of Piplines exists or Not? Work on underpass to go on for 10 more days The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News
<cite>The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News : Work on underpass to go on for 10 more days</cite>: "
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