BMC blames negligence for Mumbai CST bridge collapse, suspends 2 engineers
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) vigilance department has submitted its preliminary report in the foot overbridge collapse at CST station that killed six people and left 35 injured on the evening of March 14.
The preliminary report has blamed the structural consultants of negligence and recommended police action against them, according to officials.
The report says that the structural audit of the foot overbridge at CST was not carried out correctly. It suggests that major lapses occurred when the structural audit of the bridge was carried out on August 13, 2018.
"There is a prima facie reason to believe that the structural audit has been conducted in an irresponsible and negligent manner. This tragedy could have been avoided if the structural audit had been done diligently," said the probe report. According to the preliminary report, the structural audit failed to point out an impending failure and despite the public money spent for commissioning the audit, "the true condition of the bridge was not brought out."
Mumbai Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta Friday suspended two civic engineers in connection with Thursday's foot overbridge collapse which claimed six lives. Mehta also ordered a probe against them and a departmental inquiry against two retired chief engineers of the BMC. Charges will be framed against the officers accordingly, the official added.
The preliminary report recommended action against the officers who were supervising the audit of the bridge and its repairs. Those named, include:
- Then Chief Engineer SO Kori (retd)-- to face full-fledged departmental inquiry
- Then Dy Chief Engineer RB Tare (retd) -- to face full-fledged departmental inquiry
- Then Executive Engineer AB Patil -- placed under suspension and to face full-fledged departmental inquiry
- Then Executive Engineer AI Engineer -- to face full-fledged departmental inquiry
- Then Asst Engineer supervising the structural audit SF Kakulte -- to be placed under suspension and face full-fledged departmental inquiry
- The company RPS Infrastructure to be issued show cause notice for substandard repair work on the bridge in 2012-2014 for blacklisting
Findings of the BMC report
The findings from the preliminary report suggest that the structural auditor did not raise any alarms of anticipated failure and did not recommend any specific need for repairs. The auditor had reported that condition of the CST foot overbridge's joints, deflections, crack, sailing etc were in "good condition". The auditor had also claimed that critical structural items (concrete and steel members) of the bridge in good condition. The original audit suggested that the bridge was without any defects like cracks.
The audit suggested that the overall condition of the bridge was good.
Earlier in the day, a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation official had said the FOB was found to be structurally safe when it was audited in August 2016, soon after a British-era bridge over Savitri River got washed away in monsoon downpour in Mahad in Raigad district.
"During that audit, 354 bridges were checked for their structural soundness. The FOB that collapsed on Thursday was marked C2B. This means it needed minor repairs only. Tenders were floated for the repair but it got held up," the official had said Friday morning.
Six persons were killed and 35 injured after a section of a foot overbridge near a busy train station in south Mumbai collapsed during evening rush hour on March 14, officials said.
The bridge, which connected the area near the Times of India building with the iconic Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus railway station, was commonly called 'Kasab bridge' as the 26/11 Mumbai attack terrorist passed through it during the strike.
(Inputs from PTI)