The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s preliminary report about the collapse of a foot overbridge in Mumbai on Thursday has attributed the incident to an “irresponsible structural audit”, The Times of India reported. Six people were killed in the collapse.
The corporation said the tragedy could have been averted if the inspection was conducted more diligently. “There is prima facie reason to believe that the structural audit has been conducted in an irresponsible and negligent manner,” ANI quoted the report as saying. “In spite of commissioning the report on the bridge and spending public money on it, the true condition of the bridge was not highlighted. The structural report should be made public.”
The BMC report recommended a full-fledged departmental inquiry into executive engineer AR Patil, who was supervising the structural audit works in 2017-’18, assistant engineer SF Kakulte, who was supervising the repair work in 2013-’14, and other staff members who have since retired.
The civic body ordered a show-cause notice to be issued to the contractor who undertook the repair work, RPS Infraprojects Limited.
Earlier on Friday, the Mumbai Police filed a First Information Report against the civic body and ruled out holding the Railways responsible.
The police filed the FIR within hours of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis instructing Mumbai Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta to fix “primary responsibility” for the incident by Friday evening. Mehta has ordered the vigilance department to submit a preliminary report within 24 hours, identifying the municipal staff and structural auditor responsible for the incident.
The foot overbridge, which collapsed around 7.30 pm on Thursday, connects the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus with the Azad Maidan police station. It is also called “Kasab bridge” as Ajmal Kasab, one of the terrorists who struck Mumbai in November 2008, had used it during the attacks. The bridge, which is three decades old, is also close to the BMC office.