Police on Thursday filed a chargesheet against Neeraj Desai, arrested director of the firm which carried out the structural audit of the collapsed foot overbridge (FOB) near the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT).
The bridge collapsed on March 14, killing seven persons, including staffers of Cama Hospital, and injuring 33 others. Desai, director of Prof D D Desai’s Structural Engineering and Analyst Private Ltd, was the first arrest in the case. The 709-page chargesheet was filed by Azad Maidan Police.
The chargesheet, submitted before the metropolitan magistrate’s court, has names of 83 witnesses, including eyewitnesses. The police have also recorded the statements of officials of A-ward, where the bridge was located. “The statements of BMC engineer Sanjay Darade and several other officials posted in the A-ward office have been included in the chargesheet,” inspector Ramesh Jadhav said.
Darade was the chief engineer of the bridges department, supervising the work of engineers including the accused.
The police claim Desai was tasked by the BMC to conduct an inventory of 76 bridges in the city in 2016, including the CSMT bridge. The inventory described the bridge to be in a “fairly good condition”, which the BMC claims was the reason for not carrying out repairs to it.
So far, four arrests have been made in the case. The other three are BMC assistant engineer Sandeep Kalkute, executive engineer Anil Patil and chief engineer Shitlaprasad Kori, all from the bridges department. The chargesheet against the three will be filed separately. Kori is in police custody, while the other three are in judicial custody.