Delhi bridge collapse: PWD, pvt contractor blamed

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 - 00:23

New Delhi: A Delhi government-appointed
committee, which probed the collapse of a foot overbridge
outside the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium days before the CWG, has
blamed the faulty construction methodology adopted by the
private contractor and held PWD responsible for supervisory
failure.

The two-member probe panel submitted its report today
into the collapse of the 95-metre-long under-construction
bridge, which was intended to be a showpiece, causing major
embarrassment to the organisers.
The panel has blamed PWD for "supervisory failures"
while it held P and R Infraprojects Ltd for carrying out the
project in a great hurry, top sources in Delhi Government told
PTI.

The Committee, headed by former CPWD director general
H S Dogra said methodology of construction was not given by
the PWD-appointed design consultant M/s Tandon Consultants and
the contractor devised the procedure on its own without taking
any necessary approval.

"Appropriate action will follow based on the findings
of the report. We are studying the report," Chief Secretary
Rakesh Mehta said when asked to comment on the findings.

The over Rs five crore project was contracted to
private firm P and R Infraprojects Ltd by PWD. The company has
already been blacklisted by the city government.

The probe panel said the collapse took place "because
of failure of the joint of Macalloy suspender bars which had
been prescribed as part of the design for suspension of the
deck of the FOB with the main arch."

"As per the report, the cause of the collapse could be
asymmetrical loading more than permissible level which
resulted into overstressing of Macalloy joint connecting the
deck slab with the Macalloy suspenders that were imported from
UK," the PWD said in a statement.

A top official of the PWD said there may be some
deficiency in the design although the department in its
statement said that the panel found the design "in order".

The report said detailed design of the suspender with
the deck of the FOB "in terms of asymmetric loading and
rotation of the gusset plate was not done.".

It said UK firm M/s Macalloy which built the still
frame had said after the incident that they felt "the
orientation of the gusset plate are in the wrong plane."
However, no such observations were made by them when the
drawings were forwarded to them in April, 2010 by the
contractor for fabrication of the system.

The UK firm did not respond when asked by the Inquiry
Committee to clarify why the suggestion was not given in
April.

The Committee has also recommended to the government
that Macalloy bars may not be used for its similar projects.

Further clarification from M/s Macalloy is proposed to
be obtained by the PWD and, if required, further advice of the
Committee should be obtained, the panel said.

Asked will punitive action follow against those
engineers who supervised the project, a top official said
engineers from CPWD, who served the PWD on deputation, were
overseeing the project.

"We will send the report to CPWD for action against
those responsible for the project," he said.

The report said no substandard material has been found
to have been used in the work.

"The Committee has also brought out that while
fabricating the deck, a slightly thicker gusset plate was used
due to non-availability of the recommended size.

"This resulted in reduction of the margin of rotation
in the joint thus contributing to the failure of the joint
which led to the collapse of the deck slab," PWD officials
said.

Twenty-seven people were injured in the incident.
Army had built a Bailey foot overbridge in place of the
collapsed FOB.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 - 00:23

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