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Corrosion caused pedestrian bridge near CSMT to fall: experts

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

The foot over-bridge (FoB) outside the iconic Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) here collapsed due to heavy corrosion, a forensic report from a city-based engineering college has said.

The collapse of the bridge during rush hour on March 14 killed seven people and injured 30. Police cited the forensic report in a supplementary charge sheet filed in a local court Thursday.

Three civic officials and a private structural auditor have been booked in the case for alleged negligence.

Police had asked experts from the government-run Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) to conduct a forensic analysis.

The charge sheet cited the report as saying that the bridge collapsed due to heavy corrosion. The thickness of iron parts had decreased from 15 mm to 2 mm, it said.

The 306-page second charge-sheet includes statements of 90 witnesses.

Among the accused are Anil Patil and S F Kakulte, executive and assistant engineers, respectively, with the bridges department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), and Shitalaprasad Kori, then chief engineer (bridges).

In October 2016 then BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta had visited the FoB and asked for its beautification under the Swachha Bharat Abhiyan. A letter was sent to executive engineer Patil, asking him to examine structural stability of the bridge before the beautification work was undertaken.

Patil did not act on it, the charge sheet alleged.

Engineers were required to inspect the bridge twice a year, before and after monsoon, but this was not done by the accused, police claimed.

The charge-sheet also said there was lack of supervision on the part of Kori, then chief engineer.

Police had earlier filed a charge sheet against Neeraj Kumar Desai, whose firm had conducted structural audit of the FoB.

All the four accused are currently in judicial custody. They have been charged under IPC section 304 (2) (causing death by negligence).

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 30 2019. 20:40 IST
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