All British era and other bridges safe in Pune district, says PWD safety audit
The survey also included the 177 bridges constructed during the British era which were surveyed under a special drive.pune Updated: Aug 11, 2017 10:24 IST
While Union minister for road transport and highways, Nitin Gadkari told Lok Sabha last week that 100 bridges in the country can collapse ‘any moment’ and 147 bridges are in a distressed condition, a safety audit by the state Public Works Department (PWD) has certified that all the bridges in Pune district are safe.
This included the 177 bridges constructed during the British era which were surveyed under a special drive.
All of them were found safe for vehicular traffic and general use by the citizens. Safety audit of 6,698 culverts in Pune district was conducted and necessary steps were taken. In Pune district, more than 500 bridges were certified as safe.
The safety audit of all the bridges in Maharashtra was undertaken after a bridge near Mahad on Mumbai-Goa road collapsed in August last year. The bridge was constructed during British period. The tragedy, which took place in the midnight, claimed 41 lives and 26 bodies were recovered. A new bridge on Savitri river was inaugurated in June this year.
PWD superintendent engineer Rajendra Rahane said that all the bridges were physically inspected by a special team.
“All the aspects of bridges were checked from the point of civic engineering. It was an exercise like doctors checking a patient,” Rahane said adding that necessary steps were taken immediately after some faults were identified.
The Maharashtra government came under severe criticism for the tragedy as Mahad bridge was declared unsafe for any kind of traffic long time back. State government announced to undertake a special drive to check safety of all the bridges in Maharashtra. More than 19,000 bridges in state are currently undergoing the exercise of safety audit. These mainly include 17,058 small and 2,515 big bridges in Maharashtra.
In Pune district, PWD completed the safety audit of 518 bridges. They include 429 small and 89 big bridges. PWD officials said 39 big and 138 small bridges constructed during British period were given special attention during safety audit. All the bridges in the district, constructed by any competent authority, were checked in the past few months.
PWD was specifically asked to complete the exercise of safety audit before the onset of monsoon in the current year. “This was done on a priority basis as Mahad bridge had collapsed because of heavy rainfall,” said PWD officials.