The uniquely designed, rainbow-shaped, suspended pedestrian bridge that collapsed on Tuesday afternoon near Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium did not have the required permission from the agencies that approve such projects.
Part of the Barapullah elevated road project, the project of the two pedestrian bridges, on east and west side of Sewa Nagar Railway Over Bridge, was neither sent to UTTIPEC — the agency that approves infrastructure road projects, nor to the Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC), the agency responsible to maintain the aesthetics of the city.
"The bridge proposal was never brought to the DUAC for consideration," said DUAC chief K.T. Ravindran. To save time and efforts, the Delhi government had got the entire Barapullah elevated road project approved from the Group of Ministers.
"Ideally it (the bridge project) should have come to us. But we had got instructions from the government that some of the projects would be taken up by it on its own and the UTTIPEC should not create obstacles in clearing Games-related projects,” said a UTTIPEC official, requesting anonymity.
“In a hurry to complete projects the government seemed to have picked all and sundry contractors to execute the project. While these contractors met the financial capabilities, they have little knowledge of implementing sophisticated technologies and equipment imported from developed countries," said Pradeep Chaturvedi, safety expert and former chairman, Safety and Quality Forum.
Experts believe that delay in sanctions and pressure created by the bureaucrat and politicians are mainly to be blamed for chinks in projects.
“Engineers are being forced to complete projects in limited time." said K.K. Kapila, President, Consulting Engineers Association of India, the apex body of consulting engineers.
"There is a simple rule that black topping of roads should not be done on wet surface. But with Games barely two week's away roads are being re-carpeted even when it is raining,” said Dipak Mukherjee, former engineer-in-chief, Public Works Department.