Chennai Anna Salai – Cracks after Cave in sparks fresh concerns


Cracks after Cave In spark fresh Concerns 

The cave in, two days ago on Anna Salai, the arterial road of Chennai is telling. The incident is also ‘yelling’ at authorities, hoping they would listen. A few cracks have been seen near the place today. Will they help crack officials’ apathy?

Not that the authorities really need this. There have been cave ins earlier too, months back. But somewhere they got buried amidst the other challenges Chennai and Tamil Nadu have been witnessing over the past 12-18 months.  

Metro site issues not Isolated to Chennai or India

There have been cave ins due to tunneling in Bangalore/Delhi too. There have been cave ins even in the infrastructure empire of the Chinese. Therefore one may give some benefit of doubt that some gaps might be possible in these engineering projects, though not unavoidable.

Shenzhen China – Metro Site Cave In – courtesy- getty images

But the worry also is that the project managers do not seem to be learning from these experiences. Instead of on a Sunday, had the recent cave in happened on a week day in full traffic flow, the human casualty would have been very high. The traffic congestion would have also hampered rescue and damage reduction efforts.    

Ill Equipped??

The officials have invested in equipments to spot possible cave ins. But they are not used because of daytime traffic.  These tools can work in daylight only. Which competent official authorized purchased of these high value assets? This purchase met ‘Whose’ expectations? Not vey difficult questions to answer surely. Intelligence or Integrity or both cave in, long before the road, one guesses. 

More than ever we need a National Level Project Safety and Quality Management Institution. As India gets ready to up its ante on more industrial and Infrastructure projects, thanks to a determined Centre, there is a threat of disasters waiting to happen.

Holy Cows of Mindless Project Clearance

If we can hold the management of Union Carbide responsible for criminal negligence, most of the projects currently on way and their managers are no less guilty of similar charges. Projects are being shoved down locals’ throats like at Neduvasal. Without anyone really understanding the threats and the risk mitigation needed.    

Protecting cows is less of a threat for India than protecting the Holy Cow of mindless project clearance without adequate safeguards.

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