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CSMT bridge collapse: Internal report also holds civic officials responsible for not doing their duty

An internal probe report by the Mumbai civic body into the March 14 CSMT foot overbridge (FoB) collapse, which killed seven people, upheld the findings of a preliminary report and has pinned responsibility on its own staff from the bridges department, the structural auditor of the bridge and a contractor who carried out repairs in 2013.

mumbai Updated: May 16, 2019 23:59 IST
Sagar Pillai
Sagar Pillai
Hindustan Times

An internal probe report by the Mumbai civic body into the March 14 CSMT foot overbridge (FoB) collapse, which killed seven people, upheld the findings of a preliminary report and has pinned responsibility on its own staff from the bridges department, the structural auditor of the bridge and a contractor who carried out repairs in 2013.

This report of the vigilance department, was submitted to the municipal commissioner Praveen Pardeshi on Tuesday. It points out the negligence of civic engineers, lack of supervision on maintenance of the bridges, improper structural audits and flawed repairs carried out in 2012-13. The report revealed that the tests suggested by the auditor of the FOB were not conducted by the testing agency at all locations of distress in concrete parts of the structure. It also stated that the contractor overlooked the remarks of the agency.

According to the report, the auditor, Prof DD Desai’s Associated Engineering Consultant and Analyst, did not carry out the structural audit of the FoB in a comprehensive manner, by not conducting a footfall vibration test and failing to identify the weakness of the bridge by not inspecting its critical parts. Also, the bridges department failed to act on the auditor’s recommendation and did not carry out periodic inspections of the bridge. It also revealed that the bridges department failed to submit enough documents related to the FoB.

Original drawings were not submitted to the bridges department, which the report said showed lack of documentation and record keeping. Also, the beautification work done on the bridge by A-Ward officials had overloaded the bridge, which resulted in the collapse, the report said. The work included replacing the existing flooring with granite slabs, which the report stated that it resulted in an additional ‘dead load’ on FOB.

A senior civic official said, “The auditor has not only failed to do a proper check of the bridge, but also did not conduct a footfall vibration test — an important aspect of the audit. The bridges department did not undertake any repairs or maintenance of the FOB after 2013-14. The contractor, RPS Infra Projects, improperly carried out the structural repairs of the bridge in 2012-13. All these factors have resulted in the collapse of the bridge. So far, four people have been arrested. Despite attempts, Pardeshi did not respond for a comment.

First Published: May 16, 2019 23:59 IST