Yesterday, this paper ran a front page report about the Dindoshi flyover on the Western Express Highway developing cracks. Thousands of motorists use the flyover to commute to South Mumbai and looking at the cracks in the infrastructure, it is apparent that the bridge needs urgent attention and repair. Yet the bridge has been caught in a time wasting and dithering exercise, thanks to the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) and the traffic police.

The report also states that shockingly, this was the same southbound stretch that was shut in October for a couple of days after the road surface caved in. The MSRDC then did basic repairs and enlisted a team from IIT-Bombay to conduct tests on the stretch. The team submitted a report in December, stating that the bridge needed repairs as nine slabs had been damaged.

For the greater good
While both these agencies bicker and point fingers at one another, the point is, who would be responsible if some grave tragedy occurs and lives are lost in the bargain? Why waste time instead of simply coming together, joining forces, looking at the gravity of the problem and telling the public that they would have to bear with temporary delays and problems for the larger good — ie repairing the bridge completely, so that they are safe on their way to South Mumbai.

We often see that authorities always wake up after a tragedy, they swing into action after a disaster or catastrophe has taken place, which really defeats the purpose.

Whether it is dilapidated buildings or other infrastructure, warnings are not heeded until there is a tragic and unnecessary loss of life. Of course, in every case it is not the authorities’ fault. Even people need to heed warnings and vacate structures marked ‘unsafe,’ however hard it may be. In the Dindoshi case, though an immediate alarm and action is called for, there should be no dithering or passing the buck as so many lives are at stake.