Kerala Kaumudi Online
Monday, 26 February 2024 7.46 AM IST

Corrosion of Army towers: Report of army panel ignored


KOCHI: A special inspection team of the army had also reported that the Chander Kunj Army Towers in Vytila, built five years ago by the Army Welfare Housing Organization, was severely damaged. On the instructions of the Chief Engineer, Navy Southern Command, a four-member team led by Naval Works Chief Engineer R Alagarswamy, Kochi Naval Base, visited Silver Sand Island on July 3, 2021. Visited two 29 storey towers. The report was submitted soon.

According to the report, there was a serious failure in maintaining the quality of the concrete used for the foundation, columns, floors, beams etc.

This report given by the army appointees

Report given by the army appointees were ignored like other 12 examination committee recommendations. The huge buildings where 208 families live had to be demolished. As the concrete and plastering parts are falling off, nets are being tied around the two buildings at the height of the first floor.

The Chennai IIT team had given a report last November that it is not easy to maintain the two towers through maintenance and the residents should be evacuated urgently. The same proposal has been submitted to Collector NSK Umesh by the Assistant Executive Engineers of Tripunithura Municipality and GCDA. The collector has asked the executive engineer of the building department to submit the report of the public works department immediately.

Salt water for concreting

The chloride content in the concrete is very high, which causes the rods to weaken and the concrete to spall. The report indicates that the water in the lake was used for concrete.

Suggestions to strengthen

• The committee recommended immediate action to strengthen the concrete parts including beams and slabs.

• Works should be done by leading expert companies with 8-10 years warranty. No agencies or subcontractors

• Larger spans should be checked for strength loss

Severe damage to ground floor and basement

• The committee assessed that the severe loss of strength is in the basement and ground floor.

• Poor construction, lack of expertise and layout of foundations, columns, slabs, beams, etc. may have led to the problem.

• No signs of foundation collapse

• Cracks occur in plastering because the cracks in the concrete frame are serious.

• Materials used for concrete are of poor quality

• Alignment of some columns and beams in basement against engineering norms

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