Falling apart: Airport roof collapse adds to list of countless infra failures

Several high-profile projects inaugurated with much fanfare have since shown severe structural flaws

The civil aviation minister inspects Delhi Airport's T1 terminal (photo: @RamMNK/x)
The civil aviation minister inspects Delhi Airport's T1 terminal (photo: @RamMNK/x)

NH Digital

In a tragic incident that has once again highlighted the grim state of India's infrastructure, a roof collapse at Delhi's Terminal 1 airport has resulted in the death of one person and injuries to eight others.

This incident has highlighted a series of infrastructure failures across the country, each marked by delays, poor quality, and a lack of accountability.

Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate has pointed out several high-profile projects inaugurated with much fanfare in the lead-up to the recent general elections, which have since shown severe structural flaws.

High-profile projects, low-quality outcomes

Atal Setu, Mumbai

Cost: Rs 18,000 crore

Inauguration date: 12 January 2024

Issue: Cracks have appeared in the bridge, raising serious safety concerns.

Jabalpur Airport

Cost: Rs 450 crore

Inauguration date: 10 March 2024

Issue: Part of the airport canopy has collapsed.

Delhi T1 Airport 

Cost: Rs 4,600 crore

Inauguration date: 10 March 2024

Issue: Roof collapse resulting in one death and six injuries.

Shri Ram Temple, Ayodhya 

Cost: Rs 1,800 crore

Inauguration date: 22 January 2024

Issue: The temple remains incomplete with no spire, leading to water leakage inside and flooding due to inadequate drainage.

Cost of negligence

These incidents highlight the enormous human and financial costs of poor infrastructure. In August 2022, the Rs 304 crore Karam Dam faced seepage and erosion, leading to the evacuation of 18 downstream villages. Despite being under investigation for a scam, the same blacklisted companies were awarded repair and maintenance contracts just three months later.

Government accountability

The spate of infrastructure failures raises serious questions about government oversight and accountability. Despite lives lost and billions of rupees at stake, the government is not seen as being keen on immediate and decisive action to address these issues. The recurring nature of these failures indicates systemic problems that require more than just superficial fixes.

As the nation mourns yet another avoidable tragedy at the Delhi airport, the focus must shift from mere inauguration ceremonies to ensuring the safety, quality, and longevity of infrastructure projects as rigorous inspections, transparency in awarding contracts, and stringent quality control measures get going to prevent future disasters.

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