Varanasi tragedy: Flyover was being constructed without design approval

Initial investigation report into the collapse of the under-construction flyover in PM’s constituency, Varanasi, has revealed many flaws, including lack of approval and no supervision over quality

Photo courtesy: social media
Photo courtesy: social media
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Tasleem Khan

The under-construction flyover in Varanasi was being constructed without any approval of the flyover drawing or design by concerned departments, or any enquiry into the standard norms fixed for beams. More over, there was no record maintained about how much concrete, cement or sand are being used in the construction of the beams. Besides, the interim report of the initial investigation into the Varanasi tragedy reveals that the heavy beam was being fixed in the column without first tying it to the cross beam and even the officials who inspected the site had not issued any report on these details.

The investigation report into the collapse of the under-construction flyover in the prime minister’s parliamentary constituency, Varanasi, states that it caved in due to two two heavy beams and has found Uttar Pradesh State Bridge Corporation Managing Director Rajan Mittal and five other officials responsible for it.

Rajan Mittal has been shunted out of the department. Chief project manager SC Tiwari, project manager KR Sudan, former project manager Gaindalaal, assistant project manager Lal Chand and Rajesh Paul are other officials held responsible for the accident in the interim report.

The government has given strict instructions in the interim report that these drawbacks should not be repeated in other projects. An important point which was highlighted in the interim report was that even after the alert was raised around the construction site, the traffic route was not diverted.

The other relevant points in the interim report are:

  • The beams which are fixed between the columns were not tied to cross beams and were placed there without any support.
  • There is no record available on the quality of the beams. That means there is no record available on whether cement, sand and concrete were used in right proportions in making the beams or not.
  • No official of the project was supervising over the quality of the beams used in the project.
  • No concerned or competent department has approved either the flyover design or drawing.
  • The officials responsible for inspecting the under construction fly over, did inspect the papers but did not submit any report on what they found in the papers.
  • The area around the flyover was not even barricaded
  • There was no alternative route chalked out for the traffic which plied under the fly over which was under construction.

Four officers who have been held responsible for this accident in the report have been suspended. After the FIR was filed in the matter, the police have started questioning the Bridge Corporation officials. It is expected that the officials responsible for this tragedy may be arrested. The SP(crime), Varanasi, said on Thursday that the officials found responsible for this accident can not leave the city without police permission.

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