STRUCTURAL REPAIRS carried out on the CSMT foot overbridge, which collapsed in March claiming seven lives and injuring over 30, were improperly executed, stated a detailed inquiry report submitted by the civic body’s internal vigilance department to the municipal commissioner last week. Following this, a full-fledged departmental inquiry has been initiated, said officials.
Besides auditor DD Desai Associated Engineering Consultant and Analyst Private Limited, the report also blamed contractor RPS Infra Projects Private Limited — already blacklisted following a 2015 road scam — for conducting poor bridge repair work in 2012-13.
“The repairs to the structural members was carried out improperly, resulting in peeling of epoxy paint as observed on the debris,” the report read.
It added that auditors did not conduct a footfall vibration test as provided in its contract with BMC. It mentioned that prima facie, it appears the collapse was triggered by failure of the supporting joints of the floor beams.
The report added that actors like corrosion, lack of repair and maintenance, increase in load on the bridge by addition of granite slab flooring during refurbishment work undertaken by ward A, led to the collapse. It said that the executive engineer of ward A did not wait for the remarks of the department before beginning refurbishment work.
Further, the report mentioned that the manual of BMC’s bridge department was not followed. Inspections were not conducted twice a year and the audit reports were not properly scrutinised. So far, the police have arrested four persons, including a consultant, two engineers and a retired chief engineer of the bridges department, for the collapse.