The fate of the arch-shaped pedestrian bridge, which collapsed at the construction stage a few days before the Commonwealth Games, is still not certain. McAlloy bar and cable systems, the English company that provided suspenders, tie bars and connectors to the ill-fated bridge is yet to identify the reason why its equipment failed. Senior Delhi government officials said unless the company comes up with an explanation for the same and a solution to ensure the problem does not recur, it would not risk the re-construction of the bridge using the material provided by the company.
“The two-member inquiry committee that looked into the collapse has made it clear that there was nothing wrong with the material used in the construction,” said a senior Delhi government official requesting anonymity. “We have now asked the company to tell us the reasons for the failure of the equipment and whether they would provide us technical support in case we decide to re-construct the bridge using McAlloy equipment,” the official added.
Along with the collapsedpedestrian bridge, the public works department has been constructing three similar arch-shaped bridges — one near Lodhi Colony and two near Ghazipur. The delay in construction of pedestrian bridges in Lodhi Colony and Ghazipur has caused thousands of pedestrians endless trouble. With the opening of the Barapullah elevated road for traffic, those moving from Lodhi Colony to Kotla find it extremely difficult to cross the road.
Similarly, the construction of a flyover and an underpass at Ghazipur has made the traffic intersection signal free. People living in neighbouring areas find it extremely difficult to cross the busy road amidst fast moving traffic. Several pedestrians have met with accidents in Ghazipur in the past few days. The under-construction arch-shaped ‘rainbow bridge’ had collapsed when one of the 26 suspension bars — from which the bridge was hanging — snapped on September 21, injuring 27 construction workers.
Interestingly, the cost of suspenders and related equipment imported from McAlloy for this R5.34 crore pedestrian bridge is just about R20 lakh. Sources said if the same stuff was procured from an Indian company, the cost would have come down to a mere R7-8 lakh. The PWD paid R12 lakh as duty for import of this equipment.
According to senior PWD engineers, a team from McAlloy had visited the site where the pedestrian bridge collapsed earlier this month. “The team took back the inquiry committee report. It was supposed to reply to our queries but it is yet to respond,” said a senior PWD official requesting anonymity. “We will send a reminder to the company; if it fails to reply, we will blacklist it and ask another company, dealing in similar construction work, to complete the project.”