The civic body’s apathy to maintain the city’s infrastructure has once again come to the fore.
On Saturday, a portion of a 20-year-old culvert bridge in Dharavi collapsed after the foundation of the wall on which the bridge was resting sank. A dumper truck and a tempo were stuck for three hours in a 60-m hole that was created after a part of the road caved in. But civic officials are not sure whether the bridge was in a dilapidated condition.
Satish Badve, chief engineer roads, said he was not sure whether the bridge was in the ‘danger’ list given by the state-appointed standing technical advisory committee (STAC).
The STAC had submitted a report saying 58 of the 253 bridges in the city were dilapidated and needed urgent attention. However, the civic body is yet to carry out a detailed structural inspection of these bridges.
The STAC had also given the BMC a list of 80 recommendations, including appointing a chief engineer for bridges. Currently, there is one chief engineer who handles roads, traffic and bridges department. It had said that the BMC must inspect old bridges every five years and new ones after 10 years.
“Many these recommendations aren’t being followed. The BMC should have undertaken inspection and maintenance of the bridge,” said NV Merani, chairman, STAC.
According to a former official in the bridge department, most culvert bridges were more than 12m in length and were within the purview of the STAC inspection. “Most are old and need to be inspected and repaired regularly,” he said.
Due to the collapse, underground power cables of Reliance Infrastructure were damaged, leading to power failure in few areas for over an hour.
A spokesperson for the company said they were working on replacing the disrupted cable.