Pune: It seems that the State government has not learnt a lesson from the Savitri river bridge collapse which took place in the year 2016 in which 42 people lost their lives.
City-based legal advisor Jatin Adhav, who filed an Right to Information (RTI) application received a reply that the state does not have a consolidated list of flyovers and bridges in the state.
“A few months ago when I was driving towards Circuit House from a bridge near St Mira’s College, I saw two women walking on the road and vehicles zoomed past them. They wanted to cross the bridge but were unable to do so,” said Adhav.
“At that time the thought of bridges, their maintenance, footpaths on them and other such things came to my mind. So I decided to file an RTI application,” he said. “When I first filed the RTI to Public Works Department (PWD) they replied back saying they do not have the consolidated data. After an exchange of 15 to 20 letters, PWD said the information can be collected through municipal corporations or bodies or village gram panchayats,” said Adhav.
“I had sought information about number of bridges, flyovers, bridges and flyovers having footpaths, those which do not have footpaths, approximate cost of construction of the flyover, maintenance cost, last date when the bridges and flyovers were inspected or repaired and life validity of the bridges. Unfortunately, the department concerned failed to give this information,” he said.
“This was surprising as the State had witnessed the collapse of bridges and loss of precious lives. Most of our bridges do not have footpaths or some bay to stand while crossing or walking down. Similarly, no safety measures are taken to protect the lives,” he added.
When asked whether there are any rules regarding the safety measures or pedestrian measures which are a must while constructing a bridge, he said, “All rules and regulations regarding the bridges are old and no information regarding it is available. Thus, we need a policy formulated regarding it.”