Audit said Mumbai's CST foot over bridge is 'fit to use' just 6 months ago

Mumbai bridge collapse. Photo: ANI
The Mumbai foot over bridge that killed six people and injured 31 on Thursday due to the collapsing of a deck was given a 'fit for use' rating in an audit report six months ago, according to several media reports. 

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis said, "I have ordered a high-level inquiry into this unfortunate incident which puts a question mark over the authenticity of the structural audit of bridges carried out across the city". Fadnavis announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the family of the deceased and said a high-level committee will probe the circumstances under which the 40-year-old over-bridge collapsed.

The bridge, which connects the area near the Times of India building with the iconic Chhatrapati Terminus railway station station, was commonly called 'Kasab bridge' as the 26/11 Mumbai attack terrorist passed through it during the strike.

"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," PTI quotes a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) official.

Officials told the Indian Express that the foot-over-bridge is around 35 years old and last repair was undertaken in 2010-11. “In 2016, under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the northern end of the bridge was taken up for beautification but not repairs. The plan included changing the tiles of the bridge and new paint,” said an official.

A BMC spokesperson said civic commissioner Ajoy Mehta will meet Road and Bride department officials Friday and then take a call on dismantling the entire FOB.

On Friday morning, the BMC kept the busy DN Road blocked as part of the post-collapse safety stipulations and civic staff went about dismantling the entire deck of the FOB.

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