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Frequent sinking of earth a threat to pedestrian safety

Staff Reporter

Residents urge Government to conduct speedy survey of the entire area

PONDICHERRY: The frequent sinking of earth along the busy thoroughfare inside the town is threatening the safe movement of pedestrian's as well as vehicles.

On Thursday, suddenly a portion of the road along the Muthumariamman Koil Street caved in, creating a big crater, fortunately the road was free at the time the incident happened.

For sometime the Mission Street and its adjacent areas towards S. V. Patel Salai has been witnessing frequent sinking of the busy road at several points.

After repair works new roads are being laid along the Mission Street but residents and shop owners in the area where surprised by today's fresh occurrence of sinking of the earth.

They wanted the government to conduct speedy survey of the entire area and locate the places vulnerable to sinking of the sand.

The PWD officials when contacted said the reason for sinking of the earth is due to corrosion of concrete sewerage pipes laid in these areas.

Under a sewerage scheme taken up 30 years ago, the entire area except the stretch from Chetty Street to Kurchikuppam, all the concrete sewerage pipes were replaced with cast iron pipes.

The area was left out during the project because the cast iron pipes of one meter in diameter were not available at that time, officials said.

"The toxic gases that is formed inside the pipe creates cavity on the top layer and as a result the sand above it sinks", G Durairaj, Executive Engineer said .

Now with the report of a fresh incident the PWD has decided to replace the concrete pipes with ductile iron pipes, which is superior to cast iron pipes, on a war footing, he said.

Earlier, it was planned to take up the work in stages, as it would cause hindrance to free flow of traffic.

Already the pipes have been purchased at a cost of about Rs. 85 lakh and the work would start very soon.

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