The collapse of the Morbi bridge in Gujarat has drawn attention to the plight of other bridges in the country and prompted several state governments to order suspended bridges and railway inspections in their states.
After the Morbi bridge tragedy, in which more than 100 people died, the authorities of the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have said that the respective departments are carrying out inspection work on the bridges in the region. However, experts have confirmed that in view of the Morbi bridge incident, we need to improve the bridge surveillance mechanism.
In October, a closed bridge crossing the Peddavagu stream near Andavelli in Kagaznagar mandal of Komaram Bheem Asifabad district collapsed due to incessant rains in the area. The bridge was built on the Peddavagu River 20 years ago with funds from the World Bank. A major tragedy was averted, however, the collapse caused significant damage to commuters in the town of Kagaznagar and several dozen other villages.
Similarly, a decade-old bridge connecting Hyderabad and the temple town of Bhadrachalam is in a bad condition. Built in 1964, the bridge is a vital link connecting Hyderabad with the three neighboring states of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha. During the recent rains, the bridge was closed to traffic. Users of the bridge say that it is gradually falling apart and that officials have failed in their duty to keep it in good condition.
Earlier in March, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) said it will inspect the condition of old bridges in the city and conduct detailed inspections to check structural stability and carry out load capacity tests and prepare a report.
Andhra Pradesh also has several bridges including three flagship bridges across the Godavari River at Rajahmundry. The authorities carried out urgent repair work on the 4 km long road-railway bridge.
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(with ANI inputs)