BMC: Experts to review contractors' designs for bridges
After facing criticism for assigning reconstruction of bridges to contractors on design-build-transfer basis, civic officials say unless experts approve designs, work won't start
Coming under the scanner for not preparing the designs for reconstruction of seven bridges in the western suburbs, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has now decided that experts from Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) would review the designs prepared by contractors, who will work on the bridges in design-build-transfer basis.
Civic officials said that apart from the experts looking into it, they would also finalise the designs themselves. The BMC has planned to reconstruct seven bridges including the ones near Juhu Tara, Inorbit Mall at Malad, Dhobighat at Andheri East and Vakola-Hansbhugra. The project will cost the civic body R95 crore and would be completed in six months. Following the foot-over-bridge collapse at CSMT on March 14, dilapidated bridges across the city were re-audited. The Bridges Department has invited tenders for reconstruction work so that it can start after monsoon.
According to the proposal, all the seven bridges would be reconstructed on design-build-transfer basis (contractor to suggest the design and build the bridge). This is what drew criticism in the last standing committee meeting where the proposal was to be approved. The corporators said that it was because of faulty designs many a times accidents take place, and in this case the BMC was completely relying on contractors. However, a senior civic official said, "The designs will be submitted to us. Even experts from VJTI and IIT will review them. Unless they give a go-ahead, the designs will not be approved."
Speaking to mid-day, Sanjay Darade, chief engineer of Bridges Department, said, "Usually 18 months or more time is taken to construct a bridge but in this case we have given maximum of six months. The contractors should complete it within the stipulated time or else they will be fined." However, officials said that the only issue was getting permission from the traffic police, as they fear that they would not be allowed to start work on all the bridges simultaneously.
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