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Experts flay inquiry report on Ludhiana’s Gill flyover wall collapse

A number of experts have pointed out that the committee formed to check the lapses have ignored the failure of planning and supervision that led rats to make burrows, ultimately leading to the collapse of the wall.

punjab Updated: Jun 20, 2018 13:52 IST
Aneesha Sareen Kumar
Aneesha Sareen Kumar
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
Ludhiana,Ludhiana Administration,Gill flyover
Repair work being carried out on Gill flyover in Ludhiana. (HT Photo)

After the inquiry conducted by the Ludhiana Administration cited ‘rats’ as the cause for collapse of the retaining wall of Gill flyover last month, experts in the field have flayed the report for it has failed to fix responsibility on any person.

A number of experts have pointed out that the committee formed to check the lapses have ignored the failure of planning and supervision that led rats to make burrows, ultimately leading to the collapse of the wall.

The inquiry has been conducted by a committee comprising of Ludhiana addition deputy commissioner (development) Shena Aggarwal, MC executive engineer Rahul Gagneja, executive engineer (PWD) Rakesh Garg and GLADA executive engineer Ranbir Singh.

Ludhiana Smart City Project director Sanjay Goel questioned as to why the probe team did not mention workmanship and maintenance as rats alone cannot be responsible for the fall of any structure.

Another structural engineer Pradeep Kumar Mittal stated that it was imperative to understand the ignorance of supervision. “We can assume and understand that the material used for construction was good and as per National Building Code (NBC), we should understand the ignorance of supervision. There are thousands of flyovers and millions of rats in India. But if we give path to rats to reach the foundations or basic structure, we will be hearing news of collapsing flyovers on a regular basis. It is the failure of planning and design as well as of the execution team that gave open access to rats till foundation or basic structure. Ignorance to periodic maintenance is also a cause of this failure. Authorities should not blame the rats, rather they should blame the maintenance authorities and poor planning,” said Mittal.

Amarjit Singh Paik, structural consultant to the government expressed surprise that the government has pinned the blame entirely on rats. “There are so many flyovers in the country and I have never heard of rats causing a collapse. The report states that there should have been a gap between retaining wall panel and approach slab as it was observed that there is no gap between retaining wall panel and approach slab. Who was responsible for checking this? The report is a farce and has been done just for formality sake,” he said.

The inquiry report further states that no discrepancy has been found in the construction material, as was alleged by a section of politicians, including member of parliament Ravneet Singh Bittu and MLA Simarjeet Singh Bains. They had alleged that the contract to construct Gill Road Flyover was allotted ignoring the technical inability of the contractor in 2008 and even after the matter was raised in the general house meeting of municipal corporation (MC), the MC officials in connivance with the contractor Deepak Builders had allotted the contract.

The retaining wall of Gill road flyover (part of link road) collapsed on the night of May 15. Luckily, there were no casualties in the incident.

First Published: Jun 20, 2018 13:52 IST