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Load testing to test the strength of PWD claims

Facing criticism for the alleged use of substandard construction material, the public works department may soon carry out ‘load testing’ on the Barapullah elevated road.

delhi Updated: May 02, 2011 23:05 IST
HT Correspondent

Facing criticism for the alleged use of substandard construction material, the public works department may soon carry out ‘load testing’ on the Barapullah elevated road.

Delhi chief minister, Sheila Dikshit, on Monday asked chief secretary Praveen Kumar Tripathi to do an “in-depth study” of the elevated structure and prepare a “comprehensive reply” to the observations made by the chief technical examiner’s office (CTEO) of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).

The chief minister’s directions come in the wake of the noose being tightened by central agencies investigating irregularities in the construction of several key projects — especially the R433 crore Barapullah elevated road — built for Commonwealth Games 2010.

While the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a first information report (FIR) against eight public works department (PWD) officials, DS Constructions, contractor of the Barapullah project and Tandon Consultants, the design consultant for the project, the CTEO has observed that the cement used in the project failed to meet the strength criteria.

Senior Delhi government officials said a committee comprising chief secretary Tripathi, PWD secretary Nutan Guha Biswas and PWD engineer-in-chief Rakesh Misra would carry out a detailed study on the elevated road and prepare a reply that will be sent to various investigating agencies.

“We will ask the PWD to do load testing on the Barapullah elevated road and on the Raja Ram Kohli Marg flyover to test its strength,” said a senior Delhi Government official.

Officials added that the CTEO has observed that the concrete samples lifted from Raja Ram Kohli Marg flyover — located in east Delhi — also failed to meet the strength criteria and that the government is contemplating similar tests on that flyover.

PWD engineers, however, said huge loads were put on the elevated road in the form of the launcher that put it together.

“The elevated road would never be subjected to that much load. The launcher was its ultimate strength test,” said a PWD engineer associated with the Barapullah project.