Mumbai civic body to re-audit India’s first flyover at Kemps Corner, following public outrage
BMC has declared that the bridge is safe after a large fissure was spotted on it, but it will conduct the structural re-audit anywayUpdated: May 07, 2018 11:58 IST
Independent India’s first flyover bridge, the one in Kemps Corner at Pedder Road, will soon undergo a structural audit at the hands of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), after a popular social media site was flooded with photos of a large fissure on the flyover on Sunday morning.
BMC has declared that the bridge is safe and the ‘fissure’ is a fault in the design of the bridge caused by its alignment dating to the period in which it was built in 1965. However, it will conduct the audit nonetheless, the civic body said.
On Sunday early morning, a photo of the fissure on the Kemps Corner flyover started doing rounds on Twitter. Several citizens tagged the Mumbai police and BMC.
S O Kori, chief engineer of the bridges department, BMC, said, “The bridge is absolutely safe. The fissure is not a crack. It is a fault in design, right from the time the bridge was constructed, due to alignment. My department recently concluded a structural audit of the bridge, and found it in good condition, needing only minor repairs. Yet, due to the number of complaints, we are working on finding a way to fix the alignment via another audit.”
When the bridge was being constructed, there was a problem of fitting the correct kind of joint between two slabs. To get the right kind of joint, engineers would have to wait 3 to 4 months to import it. So they went ahead with this design. The bridge was constructed in a record time of seven months. It is not unsound or unsafe,” Kori said.
Responding to the outrage, Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray, tweeted, “Regarding the photo of Kemp’s Corner Flyover, I spoke with Hon’ble Municipal Commissioner. Albeit the concern is legitimate, I request everyone not to panic as the alignment of the joint has a fault of leveling since its construction in 1965. However, the Hon’ble MC has asked the BMC to anyway carry out an audit again soon and take necessary steps, if any, for the safety of our citizens.”
In 2016, BMC ordered a structural audit of all 314 bridges in Mumbai after a bridge collapsed at Mahad on the Mumbai-Goa highway, killing over 40 people, the same year. The audit, which included the flyover at Kemps Corner, was completed this earlier this year.