CSMT bridge collapse: BMC's detailed bridge report a damp squib
While it speaks of excess load on the FOB, the report hardly holds anyone responsible for the lapse; will be followed by full-fledged inquiry
Two months after the CSMT bridge collapse, the BMC's detailed report on it hardly has any details. The report, that hardly fixed any responsibility on the A-ward office, was submitted to former civic commissioner Ajoy Mehta last week but was opened by the new commissioner Pravin Pardeshi on Wednesday and submitted to Deputy Municipal Commissioner Vishvas Shankarwar on Thursday for a full-fledged departmental inquiry. The report has not mentioned the contractor that last touched the bridge after being appointed by the A ward office. It has, however, stated improper structural repairs done by RPS Infrastructure in 2013-2014, on the lines of the preliminary report.
The detailed report in the bridge collapse has recommended that the overall load on the bridge should be analysed by experts. While the report has mentioned no new names that might face action, the BMC has mentioned that the Executive Engineer of A ward did not wait for the remarks of the bridge department before beginning work on it. Even as the contractor seems to have gotten away with no mention, the cosmetic repairs on the bridge by A ward have been held responsible for adding more load on it with its granite slab flooring.
Bridge designs not traceable
The report has further reiterated the claims of locals that the corrosions were visible, and after the debris was tested, the steel was found to be corroded. The manual of the bridge department was also not followed for carrying out inspection twice in a year. The fixing of responsibility on municipal staff and auditors was done in this report which mainly talks about supervision lapses of the chief engineer, deputy engineer, executive engineer and assistant engineer. Responsibility is also fixed on the executive and assistant engineers regarding scrutinising the audit report.
The BMC has also stated that the original designs of the bridge are not traceable which makes it difficult to verify the structural condition and the inspection reports, thus placing the blame on engineers of the bridge department for negligence. The structural auditor has failed to carry out his responsibilities as mentioned in the contract by not comparing the drawings and not carrying out footfall vibration tests to identify the dynamic characteristics of the bridge. A senior civic official not willing to be named said, "The full-fledged departmental inquiry has been initiated and will be done by DMC Vishvas Shankarwar. Action will be suggested once this is done."
Preliminary inquiry report
A preliminary inquiry report issued by civic chief Ajoy Mehta immediately after the bridge collapse had held Professor DD Desai's Associated Engineering Consultants responsible for carrying out the structural audit in "an irresponsible and negligent manner" and RPS Infrastructure for carrying out repairs that weren't "up to the mark". The inquiry also placed the blame on three junior engineers, a retired deputy chief engineer and a retired chief engineer of the BMC. While two engineers have been suspended, three other civic officials will face a full-fledged departmental inquiry. After Desai, three more arrests of BMC engineers and chief engineer were made in this case.
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