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Friday, Sep 20, 2019

Mumbai bridge collapse: Debris to be sent for forensic testing

Civic body believes the debris will help establish auditor’s negligence; writes to police, asks for FIR against accused company

mumbai Updated: Mar 17, 2019 01:05 IST
Eeshanpriya MS
Eeshanpriya MS
Hindustan Times
Workers dismantle the bridge near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus on Friday, a day after its part collapsed.
Workers dismantle the bridge near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus on Friday, a day after its part collapsed. (Bhushan Koyande/HT File Photo)
         

The dismantled frame of Himalaya bridge near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), debris from the collapsed slab and the metal girders that held the slab in place, will be sent for forensic testing to determine the question of negligence by the structural auditor or civic authorities.

After a portion of Himalaya bridge collapsed on March 14, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has ordered a probe into the incident. Kiran Dighavkar, assistant municipal commissioner of A ward, under whose jurisdiction this area falls, said, “During the course of the investigation, we will need to refer to the evidence. The debris is being preserved for this.” The debris has been moved to a BMC-owned godown in Cuffe Parade.

On Saturday, the BMC wrote to Mumbai Police to lodge a first information report against DD Desai Associated Engineering Consultants and Analysts Private Limited, which carried out a structural audit of the FOB in 2017. Additional municipal commissioner Vijay Singhal confirmed this development. A senior civic officer said, “We will need a forensic report on the extent of corrosion, especially when there is a police case involved. This will help the civic body build its case when we say the auditor did not notice the extent of damage to the bridge slab or the corrosion to the plates.”

The BMC also sent show cause notices to DD Desai Associated Engineering Consultants and Analysts Private Limited and RPS Infrastructure, which carried out repair work on the FOB in 2013. Both firms have been given 15 days to reply.

As per a preliminary report the BMC released on Friday, DD Desai Associated Engineering Consultants and Analysts Private Limited has been de-empanelled and will pay for the re-audit by another structural auditor of the 39 bridges it had audited. RPS infrastructure is a blacklisted contractor for its involvement in the ₹350-crore road works scam of 2015.

First Published: Mar 17, 2019 01:05 IST