Mumbai: Cracks found on bridge at Grant Road station, traffic diverted

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

The cracks were found on the Frere bridge at Grant Road station around 11.30 pm yesterday

Mumbai: Cracks were found on a bridge at the Grant Road station in south Mumbai, hours after an over- bridge collapsed at a railway station in suburban Andheri, the city civic body said today. 

The cracks were found on the Frere bridge at Grant Road station around 11.30 pm yesterday following which the traffic was diverted, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said. 

The Mumbai Police also posted an update on its Twitter handle today saying the bridge has cracked, hence the traffic has been diverted to Nana Chowk towards Kennedy bridge. 

Engineers of the BMC's bridges department and other agencies have been asked to monitor and assess the condition of the Frere bridge, an official in the civic body's disaster management unit said. 

An over-bridge at a railway station in Andheri area collapsed yesterday during heavy rains, disrupting train services, injuring five people and putting the spotlight once again on the creaky infrastructure of the metropolis. 

Railways Minister Piyush Goyal had visited the accident site and ordered an inquiry by the Commissioner of Rail Safety. 

He had also said that during the next six months, a joint safety audit will be conducted by the Railways, the BMC and the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, at the 445 road over-bridges, foot over-bridges and bridges over pipelines in Mumbai as part of efforts to improve safety for the commuters. 

The BMC today said the structural audit of 274 bridges was underway and a final action plan for repairs, maintenance and re-construction will be prepared within a week. 

"Our department is carrying out the structural audit of 274 bridges since the last year and the work is in final stages. We hope to prepare a final list soon of bridges under various categories - in good condition, requiring minor repairs, major repairs or requiring reconstruction," BMC's chief engineer (bridges) Shitlaprasad Kori told PTI. 

The good bridges would be the ones that do not require any immediate repairs, he said. 

The minor repairs of bridges would include fixing tiles and leakages, while the ones having structural flaws will require major repairs or maintenance, Kori said. 

Under the fourth category, the bridges which are in a dilapidated condition will be demolished and new ones will be constructed, he said. 
Of these 274 bridges, 137 are located in the western suburbs, 60 in the eastern suburbs and 77 in the main city. 

Kori said the Gokhale over-bridge that collapsed yesterday was constructed and owned by the BMC, but it was the Western Railway's responsibility to maintain it. 

"Not only for this bridge, we have paid bills of the Western Railway (WR) and the Central Railway (CR) for the maintenance of bridges falling in their territory," he said. 

"In the last four years, we have paid Rs 92.51 crore to CR and Rs 11.25 crore to WR after they submitted the estimated costs for the reconstruction and maintenance of various infrastructure owned by us and located on their premises,"he further said. 

Kori denied WR's claims that the optic fibre cable, sanctioned by the BMC, may have led to the corrosion and collapse of the Gokhale over-bridge. 

The WR yesterday said it was not aware about pipelines and optic fibre cable laid on the collapsed over-bridge. 

"This is not the time to indulge in 'blame game'. Everyone knows what an optic fibre cable weighs...almost negligible. May be, the permission was granted at the local ward level, but railway's nod is a pre-requisite condition for laying out the optic fibre cable," Kori added.

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