Millennium Post

Centre orders safety review of all highway, bridge projects

The Centre today ordered ‘safety’ review of all ongoing highway and bridge projects under NHAI and road ministry, a day after collapse of an under-construction flyover in Kolkata claimed 24 lives.

“Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and NHAI are once again advised to undertake further review of all the ongoing projects with a view to avoiding untoward incidents in any of our ongoing projects,” Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Friday.

Terming the Kolkata incident as “tragic” and “most unfortunate”, Gadkari said the review has been ordered to avoid any such incident. A tragic and most unfortunate incident took place in Kolkata on March 31, where an under construction bridge collapsed resulting in heavy casualties, he said.

“It is a cause of concern for our Ministry and the NHAI which are engaged in massive programmes of national highways development with hundreds of structures coming up on these highways,” he said.

“I am sure engineers and contractors are taking all necessary safety measures to ensure safe and incident free construction of these bridges,” he added. About a 60-metre-long stretch of the 2.2 km flyover under construction crashed down yesterday on a congested road intersection in Kolkata, killing 24 persons and injuring around 90 people.

The flyover was being built by Hyderabad-based infrastructure firm IVRCL. NHAI and the Road and Highways Ministry has been directed to review conditions of all old bridges for their safety and should undertake necessary maintenance and upgradation, Gadkari said.

A dedicated programme “Sethubharatam” for construction of railway over bridges/railway under bridges for building new bridges and upgrading old ones is also underway in a big way, he added. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched an ambitious Rs 50,800-crore Setu Bharatam project to ensure highways without railway crossings by 2019 and overhaul of 1,500 British-era bridges, the Prime Minister said his government is committed to speeding up all projects related to infrastructure. 
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