Claims that ward office carried out renovation without considering its load bearing capacity.
Mumbai: The blame game in the civic administration towards taking responsibility after any mishap has again come to light. After Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Friday held four of its staff guilty towards the Himalaya bridge collapse, which killed six people, the guilty officer feel that the report was made in hurry and they are being made scapegoats.
All four officers named in the preliminary report were then posted in the BMC bridges department and two of them, who were senior officers, have retired from service.
Speaking to The Asian Age one the retired senior officer, who has been put under full-fledged departmental enquiry (FFDE), said, “The ward office had recently renovated the bridge by putting tiles. They failed in basic calculations of whether the bridge design will bear the load. None of bridge department engineers will take such risk at the cost of human lives,” he said on condition of anonymity.
While, deputy municipal commissioner of Zone 1, Harshad Kale, asserted that no tiles are so heavy that it can bring a bridge down. “The A-ward had given letter to bridges department in 2016 regarding the renovation. However, the department never replied to the letter.”
An A-ward officer Kiran Dighavkar, said, “The preliminary report says 1.4 tons of structural steel was used on the bridge during repairs carried out in 2013, which overloaded it. We had just replaced the tiles and painted the bridge. The ward office is not responsible and the enquiry will finalise the things.”
The retired officer added, “All the officers named guilty in the report are not currently posted in the bridges department, which gives us no chance to see the files and give our replies immediately. Before finalising the report on Friday, they didn’t seek our justification. We are made scapegoats and I have no option but to face enquiry now.” The municipal commissioner on Friday suspended executive engineer A.R. Patil, assistant engineer S.F. Kalkulte and retired officers chief engineer S.O. Kori and deputy chief engineer R.B. Tare under FFDE for substantial work and poor supervision of the Himalaya bridge.