June 8, 2020 8:33:32 pm
TWO persons were killed after a section of the wall of a flyover of National Highway 27 collapsed and its debris fell on them at Aji Dam Chowkadi in Rajkot amid rain on Monday.
Police said the incident took place at around 11:30 am when a section of the retaining wall of the southern approach of the flyover bridge gave away amid rain. Footage recorded by a security camera at the site showed the two scooterists who were tailing a truck on the service road close to the wall of the bridge when the reinforced-cement-concrete wall collapsed all of a sudden. The two men didn’t have any time to manoeuvre their vehicles to safety and were buried under the debris.
The victims were identified as Bhupat Miyatra (25), a resident of Radhekrushna Society near Aji Dam, and Vijay Virda (25), a resident of Mansarovar Park near Aji dam. “They died on the spot. Miyatra’s father works in the vigilance department of the Rajkot Municipal Corporation,” Aji Dam police inspector V J Chavda told The Indian Express.
Chavda said that after the accident, the section of the bridge on east side was closed and vehicular traffic was diverted on the west side lane of the bridge.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) said that they were looking into the incident. “The construction of the bridge was completed in 2007-08 and an independent engineer had supervised the construction work. The bridge and the section of the highway are under control of a private concessionaire presently. We shall look into the matter and see if there were any structural inaccuracies etc,” said an officer of NHAI.
The officer further said that the NHAI had signed a concession agreement with the West Gujarat Expressway Private Limited, a venture promoted by IL&FS and IL&FS Transportation Networks Limited in 2005, for widening the Rajkot bypass section of the NH 27 from two lanes to four lanes on build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis. The bridge at Aji Dam Chowkadi junction was constructed as part of this bypass road widening project. The concession agreement with WGEL is due to expire in 2025, the officer further said.
An official release from the Gujarat government stated that Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has taken a serious note of the incident and ordered Rajkot collector to conduct a judicial inquiry into the incident.
The release stated that 20-metre section of the retaining of the wall of the bridge had collapsed and that NHAI had decided to rope in experts of Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, Surat to investigate the incident from engineering point of view.
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