Experts from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Wednesday collected core samples of concrete from the Hero Honda Chowk flyover, which will be independently tested in a laboratory to check the strength of the construction material used. Around 25 to 30 such samples will be collected from across the damaged stretch, said officials.
It was not clear whether these samples would be tested in a government lab or in a private lab, as was being demanded by a cross-section of the civil society.
In the wee hours on May 8, the road surface of the flyover suffered damage as chunks of concrete came off exposing a pothole 70 inches in length and width. The damaged area was barricaded and the portion repaired within hours.
Two days later, the NHAI formed a three-member technical committee to examine the cause of the damage as it was the second time that the same stretch had suffered damage creating a hole in the road.
“It has been decided that samples would be taken from an area larger than initially intended around the damaged core. These samples would be handled only by NHAI engineers and taken directly to a testing laboratory. Strict confidentially would be maintained,” said a senior official, who is privy to the matter but is not authorized to speak to the media.
NHAI officials said that confidentiality is being maintained to ensure that the contractor is not involved in the testing process in any way at all.
“The core samples would be tested for strength (of the material) and to find the problem with the surface that may have led to repeated damage. It appears that the truck in which the concrete mix was brought was made to wait too long, and water added to ensure it retains moisture,” the official said.
On April 23, 2018, the flyover had witnessed similar damage on the same stretch on the Jaipur-Delhi carriageway of the expressway, after which experts from IIT Bombay were roped in. They had pointed to poor concrete strength as the reason for damage.
On May 25, the Gurugram police had also registered a case against unnamed officials of the NHAI and the contractor under sections 334 and 36 of the Indian Penal Code after a complaint was lodged by a city-based activist.
May 30, 2019 01:23 IST
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