Mumbai: The BMC might be repenting of its decision to take over around 60 bridges, which were earlier managed by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), as they require repairs worth several crore of rupees. To put things into perspective, a civic official cited the instance of the eastern free way which connects the CSMT to Chembur. “The BMC will have to spend Rs80 crore to repair it,” informed the official.
Every year during monsoon, the civic body faces public ire for pothole menace coupled with poor roads. However, it has time and again defended itself, saying that it diligently maintains the paths coming under its jurisdiction, but can't fix roads managed by other agencies. To resolve the issue, the Shinde-Fadnavis government ordered the handover of all the MMRDA flyovers to the BMC.
Want to deal with MMRDA bridges first: BMC
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a civic official said, “The MMRDA bridges look defective. Now we are thinking why the BMC agreed for the handover? After facing the issue, we have not yet taken possession of the bridges managed by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation because we want to deal with the MMRDA bridges first.”
As per the structural audits carried out by the technical institutes IIT Bombay and VJTI, the bridges were found to have a life of just 10-15 years, said the official. “The pedestals of some MMRDA bridges have been found broken. The pedestal must not get damaged at least for 50 years but they broke in just 10 years of construction,” the official added, underscoring that the BMC bridges are in “better condition” than their MMRDA counterparts.
A structural audit is conducted of the bridges, which are being managed by the civic body, every six months. As per the last audit which was carried out in December, 125 bridges are fit for use, 170 need minor repairs, 101 demand major fixes, 41 need to be reconstructed and seven are in dangerous condition. The BMC manages a total of 448 bridges.
No. of bridges taken over
Audit report findings
Life span of bridges
Ideal life span
Cost of repairing Eastern Freeway