July 14, 2009 12:50:04 am
The stalemate between the Central Railway and the contractor for the Thane-Kopri Road overbridge project Ajaypal Mangal & Cocontinues,as the railway officials have not sanctioned the blocks for the contractor to carry out further work on the overbridge. The work on the bridge came to a halt three months ago following the breaking of the strands of a steel cable of the girder.
The Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) has conveyed to the Central Railway that though the contractor has placed an order for the purchase of steel cables,they would be brought to the construction site only after the blocks are sanctioned by the railways. The TMC,which is very anxious about the project that commenced in 2002,hopes that the railway officials will okay their proposal.
Earlier,a divisional engineer had insisted the contractor to procure steel cables before granting the blocks of train services. That clause was fiercely resisted by the contractor on the grounds that in the event of a delay in sanctioning the blocks,steel cables would corrode during the monsoon and would be rejected as unfit by the Central Railway. There are three sets of cables and each set has 19 strands of steel running through the entire length of the 43.63-metre girder. Each set of cables weighs around three tonnes and costs around Rs 2.50 lakh. The contractor had cited previous instances when steel cables were rejected on similar grounds,thereby causing losses to the firm.
According to sources,the railways had asked the contractor to purchase and bring the steel cables to the site before granting the blocks,as it feared that the contractor might reuse damaged cables.
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Meanwhile,the disputed girder that weighs several hundred tonnes has been perched on the metal trussing over an elevation above the railway lines.
Usually,girders are placed over metal trussing temporarily for a day or two before unifying them by the process of stressing. However,the girders on the Kopri bridge are still on the temporary support for months. However,civic officials said the railway had verbally agreed to consider giving permission for the blocks from July 21.
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