Mumbai civic body goes high-tech to stay connected to city’s bridges
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has adopted a bridge management system (BMS) for maintenance and reconstruction of bridges in timemumbai Updated: Aug 14, 2017 00:49 IST
After last year’s tragedy on the Mumbai-Goa highway, where a bridge over the Savitri River at Mahad collapsed, claiming at least 29 lives, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has adopted a bridge management system (BMS) for maintenance and reconstruction of bridges in time.
According to a source, the computerised system involves surveying all bridges for their structural stability, age, and durability and collecting information. With the survey almost complete, the civic body plans to widen the scope of the BMS and take it to its next stage.
The BMC started surveying the 274 bridges in Mumbai, some of which date back to the British era, in September last year. Some of the bridges that have been constructed during British rule include the 146-year-old Carnac bridge, the 135-year-old Hancock bridge that was demolished recently, and the Tilak rail over bridge at Dadar, which is over 90 years old.
A total of 137 bridges lie in the western suburbs, 77 lie in the island city and 60 lie in the eastern suburbs.
Of them, 115 are over rivers or nullahs, 40 are rail over bridges, 12 are flyovers, 44 are foot-over bridges.
When the BMC started surveying the city’s bridges , a similar survey was started by the Centre to create an inventory of the country’s national highways.
SO Kori, chief engineer of the bridges department, said, “We will be following the Centre’s footsteps.”
According to Kori, the BMS will help the civic body monitor the present condition of a bridge and hence manage its timely repair.
The new system will keep a tab on the status of bridges, their structural stability, and the defect liability period.
It will give the civic body a timeline for the repair of old bridges and help assign priority to repair activity.
He said “The city especially needs a project because of the high number of British-era bridges in the city. We made a presentation to additional municipal commissioner Vijay Singhal two weeks ago, to adopt the new system. I am awaiting the approval of this plan.”
In January this year, the Lalbaug flyover was closed for a third time in three months, after the bridge developed an unexpected gap in its surface.
In the following months, the high court directed the BMC to undertake surface repairs of the bridge once its structural audit is complete.
However, the bridge was inaugurated and thrown open to traffic only in 2011, and the snag raised questions over its durability.
Now, with the BMS in place, the civic body will get a chance to monitor the bridges more closely, update structural audits periodically, and undertake preventive repair work on any bridge in Mumbai, according to Kori.