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Accident nay utter negligence

By   /  July 13, 2017  /  Comments Off on Accident nay utter negligence

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As foreseen and predicted not through blind conjectures but after thorough study by experts on available means and subsequent warnings by different agencies, the iron truss bridge over Chathe river finally caved in killing four commuters and causing injury along with damage to vehicles. The many reasons behind the cause of tragedy has grabbed everyone’s attention since its occurrence. However, the primary reason for the tragedy was because of illegal excavation by the sand mafia who had removed all the sand, gravel and boulders in the whole stretch of the river. A supporting column/pier in the middle that was supporting the two sections of the bridge finally leaned over on that fateful day and one of the sections fell on the river below. Fortunately, the many educational institutions that have cropped up beyond the river currently have summer holidays else the tragedy would have been quite gargantuan. It’s almost a cliché’ to say that it was bound to happen and almost everyone had a role in it but the blame should go to the government agencies. The division of the concerned department had on April 2015 warned about the unworthiness of the bridge and had also given a detailed report of its inspection. It also clearly advised on ban excavation within 1 kilometre on each side of bridge. It had submitted proposal from repairs but alleged that the government was not forthcoming. Thereby the district administration also closed the bridge in June 2015 and all vehicular traffic both light and heavy vehicles were prohibited. The district administration in its official notification had stated that the single lane bridge built in 1986 is on the brink of collapse anytime and will result in loss of lives. Its observation came true after two years. However the questions remains which none is asking at the moment. When was the bridge reopened again? The repair works that the government claims were conducted need to be thoroughly investigated. Although there are papers indicating the sanction of money for repairs, it is not known when it was really repaired. Under which official/s of the district administration and concerned department were the repairs conducted and who signed the proof of repair for the benefit of contractors concerned? The district administration also need to disclose under which agency’s expert advice the bridge was reopened. The administration also need to file a detailed report of the various agencies and personnel that were deployed after the reopening of the bridge to ensure traffic discipline and necessary precautions required to be observed by commuters. The department concerned, PWD(R&B), also need to disclose if there were any periodic inspections after the reopening to advise the district administration and if yes what were the findings. It should not just wash its hands off citing non compliance by other departments and agencies. The initial reports indicate ignorance shown by the drivers in the absence of any personnel supervising the bridge. So instead of just one vehicle there were nearly 6 vehicles at the time of the collapse. Dimapur is known to have constant traffic personnel manning the one lane old Dhansiri bridge every day without fail till the time that bridge was operational. The present tragedy actually have left so many questions unanswered and unless an enquiry is conducted, accountability will continue to elude the people in the state.

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