Madikeri DC office retaining wall on the verge of collapse

Madikeri DC office retaining wall on the verge of collapse
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Madikeri DC office retaining wall on the verge of collapse

Highlights

Congress blames BJP govt’s ‘40 percent commission’ for the poor quality of work

Madikeri: The 40-ft retaining wall built beside the Madikeri-Mangaluru national highway, to protect the Kodagu Deputy Commissioner's office complex is on the verge of collapse.

Since Saturday PWD authorities diverted traffic on Mangaluru-Madikeri road to Mekeri to avert any untoward incident. The DC office complex was constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 14.4 crore eight years ago. After the landslides in 2018 and 2019 in various parts of the district authorities initiated the construction of the wall to protect the building. The construction began in June 2021 and, due to continuous rains, the contractor had to stop work for a few months. Only 75 percent of the works could be completed till now and major works on the sides and the top portion are yet to be completed.

The wall is over 140 metres in length and over 40 feet in height.

Mysuru-based Ayyappa Constructions is executing the work at an estimated cost of Rs 5.2 crore. The work was supposed to have been completed in December 2021, but going by the present progress of the work and the obstacles being encountered in the form of incessant rains and inclement weather, it looks like it will take another six to eight months for the project to complete.

But following heavy rains in the past 15 days the slabs fixed to the retaining wall are coming out. People living below the road are living in constant fear of collapse of the wall. Just a week ago D. Nagaraju, Executive Engineer, Kodagu Division Public Works department (PWD), clarified that the slanting of the Reinforced Earth Wall (REW) up to two to three inches outside in some places and two to three inches inside has caused concern among the public about the safety of the DC office and also the way the works is progressing. He said the wall is being constructed and strengthened in three stages. Firstly, the soil nailing process is done where 15-metre iron rods have been inserted into the mud wall with the help of machines and 645 soil nails have been inserted and have been strengthened using cement grouting.

The next process is to fix the entire outer surface with steel mesh with five hooks. These hooks (geo strap belts) are further strengthened with concrete slabs. A press note said that as an elaborate scientific process was followed in designing and construction the wall and there is little chance of the RE wall collapsing.

On July 5, a technical team from Bengaluru visited the spot and recommended certain measures to be taken further. There is no need for panic and the public should not listen to rumours, the press note said. But within a week of his clarification the slabs of wall came out causing landslide fear. Speaking to The Hans India, District Congress Committee president Dharmaja Uthappa alleged rampant corruption in every construction work in the district. He said the revetment wall could collapse any moment owing to poor construction work. The DCC president blamed '40 percent commission' led to this poor work.

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