CSMT bridge collapse: BMC to blacklist auditor, suspends two civic officials
The BMC has held the structural auditing agency responsible for Thursday's CSMT bridge collapse
A day after the foot over bridge (FOB) at the north end of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus collapsed, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation conducted an inquiry in the matter. Less than 24 hours later, the BMC has placed the bulk of the responsibility on Professor D D Desai's Associated Engineering Consultants who carried out the structural audit of the FOB.
The civic administration has also blamed two junior engineers, a chief engineer, deputy chief engineer and RPS Infrastructure who had carried out structural repairs on the FOB in 2013.
After the firm was appointed to carry out the structural audit of 39 bridges on October 18, 2016, it inspected the CSMT bridge on December 26 the same year and further tests were carried out on July 4, 2017. The report was submitted on August 13 last year.
The BMC blamed the firm for categorising the condition of the bridge as "good". A copy of the report filed by the consultants, however, had also mentioned that "concrete slabs show the effect of corrosion" and cracks had formed in the railing. The BMC's inquiry conducted by Vivek More, Chief Engineer (Vigilance) found that the structural audit had been conducted "in an irresponsible and negligent manner and appears to have completely overlooked the critical elements of the bridge and their condition leading to this sad tragedy."
Two officials suspended
According to the orders given out by municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta, the auditing firm will be immediately de-empanelled from the BMC's list of structural auditors. Mehta has also ordered that a show cause list of blacklisting be issued to it. An FIR will also be registered against Professor D D Desai's Associated Engineering Consultants.
Officials of the Bridges department including executive engineering A R Patil and assistant engineer S F Kakulte have both been suspended. S O Kori, former chief engineer, R B Tare, former deputy chief engineer, and executive engineer A I Engineer have also been held responsible.
October 18, 2016: Consultants appointed for structural audit
December 26, 2016: The CSMT bridge was audited
July 4, 2017: Further tests were carried out on it
August 13, 2018: A report was submitted to the BMC
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