Thursday, July 30, 2009

Monsoon and Construction Disaster

We finally got a series of storms with a big one on Monday that lasted well over an hour. At least one person told me the storm dumped more water than any other they could remember. It caused a lot of flooding in the Delhi area. In Dwarka, there was one underpass that had over 20' of water in it along with 2 buses and several cars. Look at the newspaper photo I scanned. I don't even want to think of how gross that water is.

I was unaware of all this when we left for the press conference Tuesday morning, fortunately, very early, and we did not get halfway across the DND (bridge causeway between Noida and Delhi) when we came to halt with traffic backed up to a stand still. In all our trips and time here, never had the DND been slow or backed up, not until you got to the Delhi side anyway. Long story short, it took 2.5 hours to make it to the press conference site.

We are fortunate in our neighborhood because the rain water does seem to drain away fairly well even though it collects when it comes down hard. Haven't had to take our shoes off yet.

After we got off the DND, as soon as he could, our driver headed for the back streets to try and work around the back ups on the Ring Road. In the process, we came to the site of a major disaster a week ago. Delhi is expanding/building a rapid transit system that extends into Noida. The goal is to have it completed well before the Commonwealth Games in 2010. The pictures show a broken cantilevered piling that gave way under the weight while the spans were being put together that connect the piles. I have been keenly interested and impressed in the construction of this system as we pass by parts of it almost every day. Unfortunately, a tragic design flaw caused the death of 6 workers when it collapsed. There is more to the story, but you can look it up on the internet if you're interested. I snapped some pictures as we drove so you can see what it looks like after a week of clean up work.

You can see the broken cantilever/piling in the background. It is the same as the one in the foreground that now has support on it to prevent the cantilevered portion from also coming down

Part of the fallen track bed that hasn't been removed yet.

You can see the sand bags and metal supports that were added to secure the section while the other parts were removed. This section is now in the process of being taken apart and removed. A review group has already announced there were design flaws and material problems in the piling that gave way.

The thing that I am excited about is that the storms last week left water behind the check dams that were constructed in Rajasthan. See the next post.

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