‘Crash barriers on bridge could have prevented accident’
At least 33 people were killed on Saturday when the bus crashed through the railings of the bridge and fell into the river.Updated: Dec 23, 2017 20:17 IST
The fall of a private bus into Banas river after veering off a bridge in Sawai Madhopur district could have been averted if there were crash barriers instead of railings, a civil engineer and right to information activist said.
At least 33 people were killed on Saturday when the bus crashed through the railings of the bridge and fell into the river.
“Chief engineer, public works department, is responsible for this accident,” said RTI activist Manoj Kamra.
“The practice of putting up railings on the sides of a bridge is outdated and these days RCC crash barriers of 1.5 feet thick and 1100mm height are built,” said Kamra, a resident of Bikaner. “Had there been crash barriers on this bridge, the fall of the bus into the river could have been averted.”
There should be a budgetary allocation for the maintenance of bridges, but it is not done, he said. “The PWD chief engineer should inspect the bridges before and after the monsoon, which is not done.”
Kamra said he had asked the PWD a few years ago for information about the number of bridges in the state, but the department said it did not have.
A police official said overtaking on the bridge is not allowed, but the driver tried to do it, which resulted in so many deaths.
Avneesh Kumar Jain, PWD superintending engineer of Sawai Madhopur, said the 439-meter double-line bridge, with 60-70 feet height and 7.50 ft width, was built in 1974.
The bridge was handed over to Road Infrastructure Development Company of Rajasthan Limited (RIDCOR) after it was built. The company has the maintenance responsibility, he said.
“The bridge on Banas River is strong. Earlier, it was a single lane but later it was double-laned.”
First Published: Dec 23, 2017 20:17 IST