An elevated road being constructed as part of the Dwarka Expressway project in Gurgaon collapsed on Sunday morning. Three labourers at the site were injured. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) as well as Gurgaon Police have initiated separate probes into the matter.
NHAI officials said the “under erection span and adjoining span”, located between piers number 107 and 108, and piers number 108 and 109, collapsed around 7.30 am. The stretch is located near Daultabad Chowk.
In an official statement on Sunday evening, NHAI said, “No casualties were reported and 3 workers suffered minor injuries, who have been discharged from hospital…The accident site is being secured with necessary precautions taken to prevent any further damages. An expert committee is being constituted… to ascertain the reason of failure leading to the accident.”
“Authority has viewed the incident seriously and pending the outcome of the investigation by the committee, the concerned key personnel of the contractor M/s L&T and Supervision Consultant M/s AECOM have been suspended as per Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of NHAI,” added the statement.
Nirman Jambulkar, Project Director, Dwarka Expressway, said an expert committee is being constituted to probe the matter: “The reason for the collapse is yet to be determined. A detailed investigation is required to ascertain why the road collapsed as there are many mechanical components, civil components, lots of machinery, material, and various processes involved in construction.”
DCP (West) Deepak Saharan told The Indian Express, “Three labourers working at the site sustained injuries… We will take their statements and conduct an investigation to determine the reason for the collapse. No FIR has been registered yet.”
Labourers at the site, meanwhile, said the fact that the collapse happened on a Sunday was a “blessing”. “Those of us on night shift had left the site only at 7.15 am, minutes before the section came down. Fortunately, as it was a Sunday, our day off, labourers on the day shift were not present. On any other day, there are at least 15-20 workers on the site at any given point in time. The injuries could have been much worse and there may have been multiple fatalities,” said a labourer on condition of anonymity.
The Dwarka Expressway is a 29 km-long project, of which 18.9 km is located in Haryana and the rest in Delhi. It runs from Kherki Daula toll plaza on NH-48 in Gurgaon up to the Shiv Murti on the same expressway in Delhi. Officials said 23 km is elevated. The entire project is expected to cost around Rs 9,000 crore.
The collapse comes less than a month after Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari inspected the site on March 4. During Gadkari’s visit, NHAI officials had revealed that the Haryana section of the expressway would be completed by the end of this year, with 50% of the work already done. The Delhi section, they had said, would be done by the end of next year.
This is the second such structure in the city to come crumbling down in less than eight months. On August 22 last year, a portion of an elevated road being built as part of the Sohna road project had collapsed. Nobody was injured in that incident.