BMC begins repairs to 34 ‘dangerous’ bridges

More than three years ago, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation technical advisory committee had declared 34 of the 57 city bridges highly dangerous. BMC has now begun repairs.

Senior officials said there were procedural delays but the work had been now fast-tracked. It will be completed before the onset of 2013 monsoon.

"All bridges are being repaired using mastic asphalt mix," said acting chief engineer G Aggarawal.

Senior officials of the bridges wing of the roads department said, "We appointed consultants to conduct a detailed study. The tests took time but work on all 34 bridges should be completed in six months."

In the 2012-2014 biennial bridges budget, the department alloted Rs 29 crore for repairs and construction.

"Work on 34 bridges easily fits into the budget. Of the 34, minor repairs are required on 23 bridges for which the tender is under process," said a senior engineer.

Major reconstruction work on 11 bridges, in Kurla at Old Agra Road, Kranti Nagar, at LokhandeMarg, Chembur and Tembipada Bhandup, have already begun.

Tenders for full reconstruction and resurfacing of another four at CST Road, Kurla (West), the Children Aid nallah bridge and the PGMP colony bridge on the Ghatkopar Mankhurd Link Road (GMLR) and at Deonar Colony Nagar have been invited.

The Western Railways Authority has overtaken work on the Dockyard Road station bridge, and the Patel bridge in Girgaon, while MMRDA has taken charge of demolishing the New Mill Road bridge in Kurla (west) to make way for the Santacruz Chembur Link Road.

Officials said understaffing in specialised department added to the delay in conducting repairs. "We do not have enough specialised engineers and this has definitely slowed down the process. We are expediting the process of creating a full-fledged bridges department," said the senior official. In July, additional municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta announced the civic body's plan to institute a special bridges department.

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