The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has slammed the Maharashtra government for risking the life of residents by neglecting periodic inspection and maintenance of bridges.
In a report tabled to the state legislature on Tuesday, the CAG observed that one in six bridges that had outlived their age in the state were yet to be structurally audited.
Maharashtra has 16,085 bridges in all. This includes 14,003 minor, 1,998 major and 84 long bridges. Of these, the CAG said that 657 had outlived their life span or were severely damaged. But among them, 103 bridges were yet to be “structurally audited”.
“The shortcomings and distresses in 103 bridges remain unnoticed, which may result in grave mishaps,” the CAG said. It observed that the “absence of planning for the maintenance and repairs of the existing bridges would increase maintenance costs drastically, besides putting the life of the commuters at risk”.
It also pulled up the state public works department for lack of regular inspection of these bridges. As per rules, these bridges are to be surveyed at least twice a year.
The CAG further observed that several of the bridge works taken up between 2014 and 2019 had “no correlation” with the state’s overall road development plan. It also listed works that were lying incomplete for several years resulting in the blockage of funds.
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