A cave-in incident exposes the system
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A cave-in incident exposes the system

On the subject of debris dumping, the DDA official did not give a clear answer

A cave-in incident exposes the system

Dwarka: On August 11, Madhu Dagar, a resident of Crescent Apartments in Sector 18, Dwarka had to go for her second Covid vaccine jab at Delhi government school in Sector 13. While on her way, she took a couple of photographs of a cave-in area that was located just in front of her society. It showed that the particular cave is being filled with construction debris. She wanted to know whether the cave is being repaired properly or being filled with debris to do a formality.

She found debris on the slip road and also inside the cave. It seemed that the debris is being dumped there in a planned way to fill the cave. There was a crane at the spot as well. It looked that the crane was there either to fill the cave or clear debris from it.

Old picture of cave

An official from Delhi Development Authority's (DDA) Horticulture Department was present on the spot as the particular area is under the jurisdiction of the department. When it was asked that who is dumping the debris, he first replied that it is being done by Delhi Jal Board (DJB). When it was emphasised that how the cave-in portion could be filled up with debris without repair of the damaged underground pipeline, he said that the concerned Junior Engineer from DJB has assured that the work would be done.

On the subject of debris dumping, the DDA official did not give a clear answer. Hence, the Executive Engineer from DJB was contacted. The Executive Engineer said that the DJB is not dumping debris or filling the cave. He said that the dumping must be done by somebody else.

After listening from both the DDA and DJB officials, it was clear that some repair work would be done soon, yet no one was ready to say anything on debris dumping and filling of the cave. In the entire episode, Madhu Dagar expressed, “There must be accountability and seriousness in civic bodies for such a serious subject. This must be repaired properly as soon as possible. Such types of debris dumping and filling of the cave are showing the callous approach to hide the issue. They should think upon that.”

In the recent past, Dwarka was in news due to cave-in incidents that happened after rain. One such cave-in happened at a green patch in front of Crescent Apartments in Sector 18. The area was barricaded and cordoned with strips as well. It looked that the DJB was to repair the damaged underground pipeline and the entire area was to be repaired on a priority basis. While visiting the site, it was seen that the barricades were not there and the cordoning strips were also removed from the area.

As said by the DJB's executive engineer, the cordoning was done by them yet they were not aware of who removed the barricades and who removed the strips to dump the debris there. On the same, the DDA horticulture official said that he was not aware of it. Now the question is that how one could remove the barricade without permission posing a threat to lives with a deep cave in. Also, a question is that if all such things happened on the main road then how it was not in knowledge of the local police.

A crane at the cave

Ramesh Mumukshu, an RTI activist from Dwarka who has been writing about the cave-in incidents of the city on social media, said, “This is unfortunate that no one knows who is dumping the debris and it is being dumped along the master plan road. This prompts carelessness from civic bodies and police as well.”

While doing an enquiry, it was gathered that some sewer work was started by DJB but now it is on hold. A labourer informed that the work stopped because one of the labourers got injured in an accident while he was sleeping on the footpath at night to guard a generator set. “He was sleeping on the footpath to look after our belongings on the site. Three-four days back, a truck's tire burst on the other side of the road, and some flying object hit him. A resident from Crescent Apartments took him to a nearby private hospital. He is still critical and the work is on halt.”

Whatever, but the entire episode of the cave in Sector 18 exposed the work culture of the authorities and the callousness on the serious subject.