Mortakka bridge
Mortakka bridge

Sanawad: A team of specialist from Delhi inspected Mortakka bridge on Narmada river after recent flood and intermittent heavy rains pounded the bridge heavily resulting damage to the bridge deck and side railings.

Team comprising specialist from the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), Madhya Pradesh Road Development Corporation (MPRDC) conducted inspection.

Bridge specialist Pankaj Rai said that bridge deck suffered heavy damage due to recent flood. The railing on the bridge has been completely washed out. Team checked concrete structure with machine as well. At present since there is complete ban on boat ferries, team will conduct inspection of pillars and underneath once the flood water recedes.

Officials said water is being released continuously from dams, including Bargi in Jabalpur district, Omkareshwar and Indirasagar in Khandwa district and Tawa in Hoshangabad district, built on the Narmada river and its tributaries following heavy rains in the state.

Notably, bridge was constructed on Narmada river in 1952 by the state government and it has 60-year warranty till- 2012.

Initially bridge was meant for vehicles upto two ton, but with increasing in traffic and vehicles sizes with years, bridge has suffered heavy damage with time.

With Indore – Icchapur state highway connecting Indore to the southern India cities including Akola, Jalgaon and even Hyderabad, bridge play crucial role.

According to eye-witnesses, the swollen Narmada river is flowing only 20 feet below the Mortakka bridge after recent spell of heavy rains.

During the time of flood, authority divert medium size vehicle to the aqueduct bridge as an alternative route, while the heavy vehicle from Khandwa to Indore via Deshgaon via Khargone to Bhikangaon, Khalghat to Tejaji Nagar, Indore.

MPRDC Indore division manager Rakesh Jain informed that experts will submit their report and based on that, maintenance work will be taken place. It will take more than 15 days. In case of if bridge suffered damage in pillar or underneath, it will take more time to resume traffic on the bridge.

On condition of anonymity, one of the NHAI officer informed that NHAI and MPRDC will jointly work on the construction of Indore – Icchapur four-lane state highway. Under this, both the agencies will construct new bridge on the river. Work will start once the land acquisition work will be completed up to 90 per cent.

2-feet-long crack on pillar

Sources claimed that inspection team took note of a two-feet long crack just above a pillar towards Navghat Khedi. Officials took picture of gap and closely observed the technicalities like- whether the gap had concrete or not.

BRIDGE AT A GLANCE

Construction Year – 1952

Bridge Warranty – 60 years

Bridge Age – 68 years (in 2020)

Total Length – 780 metres

Total width – Six metre

Total pillars - 24

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