HC had last month stayed resurfacing, allied works on bridge costing Rs 13 cr
The Lalbaug flyover is the city’s second-longest one, starting from ITC in Parel and ending at Byculla zoo
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) told the Bombay High Court on Monday that the structural audit report of the Lalbaug flyover has observed some serious structural damages and sought resurfacing and realignment of the whole bridge, which was built in 2010.
After the report, BMC engineers have also suggested more such structural audits of the bridge to get a confirmation, said BMC counsel EP Bharucha to the bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Anuja Prabhudesai, who have already stayed the resurfacing and allied works on the bridge, for which the BMC planned to spend around Rs 13 crore.
Why the hurry?
"So why were you in such a hurry to give the contract for allied and resurfacing works? Now you have to decide what you want to do. If you consider the report, you will have to restore the whole bridge. Your officers had given the contract for resurfacing [the bridge] in November. You got the structural audit report now," said Justice Oka. "What if the structural audit report had not suggested resurfacing work? Why waste public money in such haste?" he further questioned the civic body. He also asked MMRDA, that built the bridge, as to what action they planned to take against the contractor who was assigned the bridge.
The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by Bhagwanji Rahiyani through his counsel Sumedha Rao, who claims that the Lalbaug flyover is shoddily built and needs an overhaul or rebuild after a structural audit is undertaken.
The PIL has cited several incidents since construction of the bridge began in 2010, starting with the time when a cantilever of the under-construction bridge collapsed. A year later, potholes were observed on the bridge, a concrete block fell down and the most recent incident took place in November 16 last year, when a major 200 mm gap was visible between two slabs.
The authorities had claimed that the expansion joints had been damaged as the rubber seal having come off. The default liability of the contractors ended three days before the cracks were noticed. The civic body, that was handed over the bridge by MMRDA, was considering whether the parts have to be replaced or full-fledged repairs have to be undertaken. The HC has now asked the civic commissioner to personally appoint a person to look into the issue.
2.48km Total length of the Lalbaug flyover