Report on Eastern Freeway mishap in 15 days

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) on Monday constituted a three-member technical committee to probe last week’s accident on the Eastern Freeway construction site at Wadala,in which one construction labourer died and seven others were injured.

Written by Express News Service | Published: July 24, 2012 3:28:04 am

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) on Monday constituted a three-member technical committee to probe last week’s accident on the Eastern Freeway construction site at Wadala,in which one construction labourer died and seven others were injured. The committee will identify the cause of the accident and suggest remedial measures to avoid such incidents in the future.

The MMRDA has asked the committee to submit a report in 15 days. The city’s development authority will know the exact cause of the accident by the first week of August,based on which it will be able to take action against the contractor,Simplex Infrastructure Ltd.

Ravi Sinha,a professor from the civil engineering department at IIT Bombay,will be the chairman of the committee. The other two members of the committee are S B Tamsekar,chief engineer at the Public Works Department,and PRK Murthy,head of transport and communications at the MMRDA.

The Wadala accident occured due to a failure in the launching girder that was being used to place concrete segments between two piers of the Eastern Freeway,causing it to bend and resulting in the crashing down of segments.

Ashwini Bhide,Additional Metropolitan Commissioner,said as per MMRDA’s checks,Simplex had checked the launching girder in April.

“The launching girders have to be checked every four to six months. For this particular truss,it was a six-month cycle and it had been used successfully to launch 70 spans,” Bhide said. However,she clarified that this is not enough to conclude that it was not the contractor’s negligence that caused the accident and all facts would be put before the committee to decide.

Meanwhile,the MMRDA opened the Wadala-Anik Road for traffic on Monday morning after 72 hours as it finished clearing 1,100 tonnes of debris from the Shanti Nagar site where the accident took place. Three cranes,one breaker,two jaw-breakers,two poclain machines,five dumpers and more than a 100 people were deployed for the job.

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