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Rusty FOB was repaired just once in 3 decades

MUMBAI: In nearly 3 a long time since it was once built, the CSTDN Road foot over-bridge (FOB) underwent major upkeep just as soon as, in 2013. Perhaps fatally, the method made the rusty construction heavier as its ground was once paved with heavy granite slabs. Three years later, at the top of the Swachh Bharat Mission, the BMC refurbished the bridge. Essentially, it put a fresh coat of paint, but, crucially, didn’t conduct a structural exam.

For now, RPS Infrastructure, the firm that carried out upkeep to the bridge in 2013, faces blacklisting for shoddy workmanship, and the BMC’s supervising engineer suspension. Civic sources said RPS is similar firm in opposition to which the BMC registered an FIR in June 2016 over the multi-crore road scam.

The 2013 upkeep concerned the use of 1.43 ton of structural metal, and incorporated portray, “polymer-modified motor” and hand railing works. BMC’s bridges department supplied those details, contained in a biannual contract for 2012-14, to the team inquiring into Thursday’s crash. “If such major upkeep (2013) were carried out, it is sudden to notice how engineers then failed to spot issues that could lead to the bridge’s cave in,” reads the report of the preliminary inquiry into the tragedy.

In 2016, the FOB were given a facelift after CST, a Unesco World Heritage Site, was once selected as one in every of India’s 10 iconic places below the Swachh Bharat Mission. After the paintings was once completed, mavens did query its “heritage” advantage.

An unbiased structural engineer, Chetan Raikar, who was once called on Friday to resolve if the bridge’s frame will have to be dismantled, said, “It was once a metal bridge, but its floor was once concrete. We found top corrosion ranges and beneficial dismantling.”

Strangely, the two experiences of the bridge’s audit were contradictory. While the detailed report stated that there have been cracks at the railings, parapets and stairs, and that metal from the floorboard slabs were exposed, the general report concluded that the bridge was once in a good condition and most effective minor upkeep were required. This is the reason, said a civic legit, that no tenders were floated for repairing the bridge. But the opposition questions this version. “The structural audit report, for all its faults, wasn’t interpreted in the correct method,” said Rais Shaikh, the Samajwadi Party chief in the BMC.

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