Work on the 21-km-long Sohna road project has been completely suspended, after officials from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) noticed violations of safety norms during a visit to the project site, where a section of an under-construction elevated road collapsed on Saturday night. Both the NHAI and Gurgaon Police are conducting separate probes into the collapse, which had left two labourers injured.
Officials said that during an inspection of the site on Monday, they noticed an absence of proper barricading as well as traffic marshals — issues the concessionaires had been warned about in July as well.
Officials said directions were issued to suspend work on July 3, but the order was revoked on July 7, subject to three conditions — proper barricades be erected before undertaking any construction in the future; penalties be imposed if any pothole or patchwork was not repaired within the stipulated time frame; and the concessionaire submit the credentials of traffic marshals who would be deputed at the site within 15 working days.
On Monday, however, it was noticed that certain construction zones were not barricaded properly and safety marshals had not been deployed at all. Additionally, some of the barricading along the stretch had been moved to the site of the collapse, leaving sections where they were earlier vulnerable.
“The NHAI has written to concessionaires of both packages of the project, directing that work be suspended and they make required arrangements to ensure safety measures laid out in the agreement are followed,” said an NHAI official, adding that a penalty of Rs 50,000 per day has also been imposed on the concessionaires until the entire construction area is properly barricaded and traffic marshals are deployed.
“The concessionaires have also been warned that they will be held responsible for any incident at the site in the future and for any third-party claims made relating to loss of property or life,” the official said.
The project, on which work began in 2018, relates to “six-laning and strengthening” of a 21-km-long stretch, beginning from Rajiv Chowk up to Sohna. While the first package deals with a 9 km-long stretch between Rajiv Chowk and Badshahpur, including the 5-km-long elevated road that will run between Subhash Chowk and Badshahpur, the second package deals with a 12-km-long stretch between Badshahpur and Sohna, which includes the construction of several flyovers and underpasses.
While the first package will cost approximately Rs 690 crore, the second will cost Rs 606 crore, bringing the cumulative cost of the project to around Rs 1,300 crore.
On the probe into the section of the elevated road that collapsed, the NHAI official said, “A sample of the concrete from the crushed segment has been collected and sent for testing to a laboratory. The results are awaited.”
The incident took place around 9.30 pm on Saturday night, when a 40-metre-long spine of the pan between pillars 10 and 11 collapsed. As no work was underway on the structure or beneath it at the time, there were no fatalities, although police did confirm that two people had sustained minor injuries and were provided first aid.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines