Varanasi Flyover Collapse: Negligence The Main Cause, Say Sources

In Varanasi flyover collapse, initial probe findings point at huge negligence, say sources in the UP government

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Varanasi:  Several officials of the UP Bridge Corporation have been booked for the collapse of an under construction flyover in Varanasi on Tuesday, that killed 15 people and injured 11.

A First Investigation Report (FIR) filed today, does not name anyone but lists officials in supervisory positions and contractors to whom jobs were outsourced. The cases have been filed under sections of negligence and culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

An investigation ordered by the Uttar Pradesh government into the flyover collapse is underway. Sources in the state government have told NDTV that initial probe findings point at huge negligence.

The flyover collapsed primarily because two beams holding up the concrete slabs buckled, say sources. When beams are fitted between pillars, they are first held together by a temporary arrangement and then cast with the adjoining beams on the next pillar. In this case, say sources, the beams were not cast and left loose.

About 200 metres away from where the beams tilted, a large crane was being used. The crane apparently hit another beam, which created a ripple effect and the two loose beams tilted, the sources said. The huge concrete slabs resting on the beams came crashing down on vehicles on the road.

The state government has suspended two project managers and two engineers who were overseeing the constructions.

The flyover collapse in the high-profile Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has posed a big question mark on the quality of work carried out by the UP Bridge Corporation in the recent past.

As per reports in news agency PTI, in 2016, a cavity developed on the Lohia bridge in Lucknow that provides an arterial link between the VIP areas on either side of the Gomti River. Another flyover near Polytechnic crossing had developed cracks and was closed for traffic for about a year. In 2010, the 1086-meter Chillgahat Bridge connecting Fatehpur with Bundelkhand region, built at the cost of Rs 650 crore, developed cracks within 13 days of inauguration. Sources say, inquiries were set up after each incident but no concrete action was taken.

The 2261-metre under construction flyover that collapsed yesterday is being built at a cost of Rs 129 crore. The portion of the flyover that fell had been laid as recently as February.

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