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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

Himalaya foot overbridge collapse: Cops to file charge sheet this week

The police have arrested four people, including 46-year-old structural auditor Neerajkumar Desai and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) engineers.

mumbai Updated: May 09, 2019 01:11 IST
Megha Sood
Megha Sood
Mumbai
The Azad Maidan police will this week submit its first charge sheet in the March 14 Himalaya foot overbridge collapse that killed seven people.
The Azad Maidan police will this week submit its first charge sheet in the March 14 Himalaya foot overbridge collapse that killed seven people.(Kunal Patil/HT Photo)
         

The Azad Maidan police will this week submit its first charge sheet in the March 14 Himalaya foot overbridge collapse that killed seven people. The police have arrested four people, including 46-year-old structural auditor Neerajkumar Desai and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) engineers.

According to police, the charge sheet has statements of 80 people, including the injured, eyewitnesses, Geo Dynamics (the firm hired by Desai’s firm) and BMC officials, to prove negligence of Desai’s firm, which was given the contract of auditing the bridge, and civic officials.

Police said the evidence suggests that Desai did not carry out the inspection properly. “Desai’s firm – Prof DD Desai’s Associated Engineering Consultants and Analysts Private Limited – had allegedly carried out the structural audit of the bridge and declared it safe for use in 2018,” said an officer, adding they studied the audit reports submitted by Desai and the contract between Desai’s firm and BMC. The police are awaiting the report from the inquiry committees set up by the BMC and material quality report by VJTI. “We will submit supplementary charge sheets later. More arrests are expected,” he said.

In its report, the BMC stated that according to chief engineer (vigilance), the poor quality of audit report is because of poor supervision by executive engineer AR Patil, assistant engineer SF Kakulte, then chief engineer (bridges) SO Kori, and deputy chief engineer RB Tare.