36 bridges in Uttarakhand found unsafe in safety audit

Pushkar Singh Dhami

In a safety audit conducted in five zones of Uttarakhand on the instructions of Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, as many as 36 bridges in Uttarakhand have been found to be unfit for traffic.
Officials said that the PWD department has handed over the safety audit report of 2618 bridges out of the 3262 in the state to the government.
R.K. Sudhanshu, Principal Secretary of the PWD Department, said that the safety audit report has been received by the government. “Instructions have been given by the government to set up a bridge bank so that new bridges can be constructed in time,” he said while adding that all the district magistrates have been instructed to take measures accordingly.
Authorities were directed to submit the audit report within a span of three weeks, as the government was planning to replace the old and dilapidated bridges with new ones.
The safety audit was conducted by the Public Works Department (PWD) on CM’s directives issued on 3 November, in the wake of the Morbi suspension bridge collapse.
At least 135 people were killed and over 100 were injured in the collapse of the cable-suspension bridge in Morbi, Gujarat, on 30 October. Indian Coast Guard, Indian Navy, and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), along with local administration and other agencies, carried out search and rescue operations at the spot of the 143-year-old Morbi bridge collapse.
In July, an under-construction bridge collapsed in Narkota, on the Rishikesh-Badrinath highway, during heavy rains, leaving over half a dozen labourers severely injured.