Cracks have started appearing on the newly constructed railway overbridge under Southern Bypass, which has raised a question mark on the quality of material used by the public works department (PWD) to build the bridge.
The railway overbridge was closed on Saturday to carry out repair work and avoid any mishap. The overbridge will remain closed for next two days.
The Southern Bypass (along Sidhwan canal) connects Ferozepur Road with national highway-1 via Doraha, while the railway overbridge connects BRS Nagar and Jawaddi.
Southern Bypass project is one of the dream projects of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who had shared the aerial view photos of this overbridge and other bridges of southern bypass on his Facebook page to show the development in the project a week ago.
Sources said some commuters noticed cracks and a cavity on a portion of the railway overbridge near BRS Nagar on Friday evening and informed the PWD about it. This has put PWD officials in an embarrassing situation as it is one of the major projects of the state government.
When HT team visited the bridge, none of the officials present was willing to comment on the issue. A few workers were seen dismantling the damaged slab, while some officials were investigating to find out the reasons behind cracks. Later, higher PWD officials also visited to inspect the bridge.
Meanwhile, some people, who clicked photographs of the bridge last night, claimed that a cavity had appeared on the bridge along with cracks.
RTI activist Kuldeep Singh Khaira has demanded a high-level inquiry into the matter. He said department should find out, how cracks appeared on the overbridge. “Sampling of material used in construction should be done from various places. Besides, proper inspection of bridges should be conducted to avoid any tragedy,” he said.
PWD executive engineer APS Brar said, “Cracks have appeared on a portion of the bridge. We are investigating the matter. Axle of a heavy vehicle broke down here a few days ago and the driver had installed a jack to lift the overloaded vehicle, which can be the reason behind cracks.”
“The damaged portion is being dismantled and repair work will be completed in three days after which the bridge will be opened for public. He also assured to instal caution boards at the earliest,” he said.