Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) has sparked a controversy by declaring the Hindon bridge over Grand Trunk (GT) Road on NH-58(E) as unsafe.
They have said the bridge may collapse due to increased vehicle load.
However, Uttar Pradesh’s Public Works Department (PWD) has rubbished the claims and said they create panic. Moreover, the PWD said, the bridge is is outside the GDA’s jurisdiction.
The bridge was built in 1957 and is a major link connecting Sis-Hindon and trans-Hindon areas on the GT Road.
On October 22, GDA chief engineer Anil Garg sent official letters to officials, including the district magistrate, chief engineer (Western UP PWD), chief engineer (Municipal Corporation), project director (NHAI, Meerut), mentioning the deteriorating conditions.
The pre-stressed beam and high tension wire are exposed and have rusted, Garg said. The vehicle load has increased over the years, while its load bearing capacity has decreased. “The bridge is unsafe due to heavy vehicle load and may collapse anytime,” Garg said.
Next year’s Commonwealth Games would further increase traffic, Garg claimed, adding in case of a collapse, the trans-Hindon area would be cut off, as there is no alternate route.
The PWD called the bridge safe for commuting.
“The bridge is safe and may require only minor repairs. We have asked the Bridge Corporation to submit a status report in this regard and we will undertake any repairing which is required,” said Ravi Dutt Kumar, executive engineer, National Highway Division, UP PWD.
Garg, on the other hand, said the bridge has exhausted its lifespan of 50 years.
“We will appraise higher officials about the condition and have even photographed the damaged areas below the bridge,” he said.