BY ROQUE DIAS |NT
After strengthening work of Borim bridge, the railing work has been taken up and authorities say these measures should dispel fears related to the bridge from the minds of the people.
“The railing work is in the scope of the same tendered work of Rs 9. 5 crore and these works will be completed by March 2018,’’ stated Vijay Mardolkar, PWD executive engineer (EE) of the works division 18.
The railing work started in the last week. Sources said the railing height is kept at above 5.5 feet in view of instances of suicide attempt.
The Borim bridge over river Zuari is almost 30-odd-years-old and bears a traffic load of around 1.5 lakh vehicles on an average each day. However, over the years the bridge had developed signs drawing attention to its maintenance, including the corrosion of steel rebars caused by water salinity.
Also heavy vehicular movement had contributed to weakening of the structure. During a visit at the bridge, the contractor and his labour were seen carrying out the railing work. “Because of constant flow of vehicles, we cannot carry out the work smoothly and, hence, the pace of work is slow,” said a worker.
Sources in PWD disclosed that the new railing height is meant to act as a deterrent against attempts by people to end their life from the bridge and also flinging of garbage bags into the river.
Reliable sources informed that officials from central ministry of road transport and highways had conducted an inspection of the bridge a few years ago and suggested taking measures to toughen up the bridge in order to prolong its lifespan and simultaneously find a way out for a new bridge. The PWD had floated a tender after engaging a consultancy firm and following a report, the work of fortification was undertaken in July 2015.
However, traffic load on the bridge has increased ever since the Zuari bridge was closed for heavy vehicles. This is the only bridge that links the south and north districts of the state for heavy vehicles transporting goods.