India

Varanasi flyover collapse: Construction agency was probed earlier too

16 May 2018 | By Shiladitya Ray
UP State Bridge Corporation has faced investigations earlier

Following the collapse of an under-construction flyover in Varanasi which killed at least 18 people, the Uttar Pradesh state government has formed a three-member committee to probe the cause of the collapse.

However, this isn't the first time that the premier state-owned constructor UP State Bridge Corporation Ltd. has come under the investigative radar.

Two probes had been initiated against it earlier.

Here's more.

In context: UP State Bridge Corporation has faced investigations earlier

16 May 2018Varanasi flyover collapse: Construction agency was probed earlier too

2010 incident2010 Incident: No action was taken against the top engineers

A public works department engineer, on the condition of anonymity, revealed that the 1086.82 metre Chillgahat bridge built by the UP State Bridge Corporation at a cost of Rs. 650cr cracked within 13 days of its inauguration in 2010.

An inquiry had been ordered by the state government, but no action was ultimately taken against the top engineers and officials for their shoddy work.

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2016 incident2016 incident also saw inaction by the state government

Again, in 2016, a cavity developed on the Lohia bridge, built by the corporation, in Lucknow.

Following the detection of the cavity, the state government constituted a four-member committee to investigate the cause.

The probe committee indicted several engineers for the poor quality of work, but the report was kept in cold storage, and ultimately, no action was taken again, said a corporation engineer.

Expert opinionUP Engineers' Association Gen Secy blames admin, corporation for collapse

Meanwhile, commenting on the Varanasi flyover collapse, UP Engineers' Association general secretary, Surjit Singh Niranjan blamed the district administration and the UP State Bridge Corporation for transgressing safety norms.

Niranjan explained that according to norms, traffic shouldn't be allowed to pass underneath an under-construction bridge, and that a proper safety net should be installed at the construction site in case of unforeseen mishaps.