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Kota bridge mishap was due to inexperience: RTI

DNA | Last Modified - Dec 27, 2011, 05:38 AM IST

An under-construction bridge over Chambal collapsed in 2009, killing 48 labourers.
  • Kota bridge mishap was due to inexperience: RTI
    Kota bridge mishap was due to inexperience: RTI

    Jaipur: The accident that had occurred after the collapse of under-construction Chambal suspension bridge and claimed the lives of 48 labourers completed two years on Saturday.

    However, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) still thinks of executing the project under the supervision of the very official who had no prior experience in such projects.

    An RTI (right to information) application revealed it recently. The application said Anoop Kulshestha, director of the project, had no prior experience in dealing such a project before and this might be the reason that led to the collapse of the under-construction Chambal suspension bridge two years ago.

    “No major bridge was built or designed by him in the past,” said the reply of the RTI application. Similarly, the reply on the project’s manager (technical) AK Gupta had been the same one.

    The said NHAI officials were posted on December 24, 2009 when labourers were engaged in civil works and the suspension bridge collapsed. For the project, the NHAI contracted two construction companies — Gammon India Ltd (Mumbai) and Hyundai Engineering (South Korea).

    When DNA contacted, Anoop Kulshestha said, “We hired expert agencies to deal with civil works, consultancy and proof-checking. So, NHAI technically has only administrative works and nothing to do with civil works.”

    The RTI, further, said the bridge was being executed under the guidance of the authority’s regional office (technical). Col PK Lohumi, general manager (technical) with the office, was guiding the project before the mishap occurred.

    The RTI also clarified that none of the NHAI officials, including the ones mentioned, have not been found guilty of the accident.

    The committee, constituted to investigate the case, said, “Any officer of the NHAI has not been found responsible for the observed deficiencies or inadequacies in view of the contract stipulations (civil and consultancy contracts).”

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