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With most engineers on poll duty, re-auditing bridges in a month ‘impossible task’

BMC officials say repairs or reconstruction of 223 bridges cannot begin until re-audit reports are submitted

Written by Sanjana Bhalerao | Mumbai | March 20, 2019 3:14:23 am

A MAJORITY of BMC engineers who are supposed to assist in the re-audit of bridges have been deployed on Lok Sabha election duty, and this could delay the audit, which has to be completed within a month.

Out of the 40 sub-engineers in the bridges department, 28 have already left for election duty across the state. The engineers are supposed to accompany the auditors to ensure that the structural tests are done as per the guidelines specified by BMC.

Tender documents specify four audit tests after a visual inspection — carbon tests for structural steel; non-destructive tests for quality of concrete structure; core test for concrete density and ultrasonic test to check for welding quality and any internal cracks.

“Over half of the employees are out on election duty, so it will be impossible to carry out re-audit within one month. The last audit took over one-and-a-half years to complete. The same amount of work is now expected to be done within one month,” said an official. The bridges department plans to raise the issue with Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta.

Following last Thursday’s foot overbridge collapse at CSMT, the BMC had asked auditors Structwel Designers & Consultants Private Limited and C V Kand Consultants Private Limited to re-audit bridges in western and eastern suburbs, respectively. The reassessment of the bridges started with the Dahisar skywalk on Tuesday.

For bridges in the island city, a new consultant will be appointed as the earlier firm, Prof D D Desai’s Structural Engineering and Analyst Private Limited, is being blacklisted.

Until the re-audit reports are submitted, repair or reconstruction of 223 bridges cannot begin. According to earlier audit report, out of 296 structures audit across, while 18 (10 major bridges and 8 FOBs) needs to be demolished and reconstructed, 61 needs major repairs and 107 minor repairs.

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