Govt acts to avoid another Mahad
The government has issued fresh directives fixing accountability and asking officials to conduct timely stability tests and audits of bridges across the state.mumbai Updated: Aug 20, 2016 00:13 IST
The bridge collapse at Mahad that left more than 28 dead has spurred the Maharashtra government to action. It has issued fresh directives fixing accountability and asking officials to conduct timely stability tests and audits of bridges across the state.
The state public works department (PWD) has directed its engineers to inspect bridges in a month and do a structural audit of old bridges — those with expired life-terms or those with life-terms that will expire in the next five years.
The department, admitting to negligence in how engineers inspect old bridges, has also decided to put in place measures to fix accountability.
A chief engineer will be made responsible for all bridges longer than 200m, superintendent engineers will be held responsible for bridges between 60m and 200m, executive engineers, between 30m and 60m, deputy engineers, 30m or less and junior engineers will be responsible for all small bridges. The engineers will test and audit bridges and suggest action based on findings, a senior PWD official said. PWD engineers have also been asked to remain vigilant and were warned of action for negligence.
The British era Mahad bridge was washed away earlier this month even though it had just been certified as safe. To avoid such an oversight, PWD has decided to conduct a structural audit of all old bridges, another senior PWD official said. The state has 2,500 major and minor bridges and 20,000 smaller ones. Around 40 of them were built during British rule nearly a century ago, sources said.