Nagpur : Ajni railway overbridge (RoB), which has well crossed its life span and has been restricted for movement of heavy vehicles is witnessing far more rush of such vehicles in clear violation of caution boards placed on either ends of the bridge.
Drivers of heavy vehicles continue to use the bridge as a shortcut towards Wardha Road. Post receipt of the report of third party audit from Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology (VNIT), Railways communicated to Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) the need to impose complete ban on movement of heavy vehicles.
In addition to it, Central Railway officials also suggested some rectification measures due to weak condition of the RoB’s structure.
However, given the slow process in public administration, NMC is taking its own sweet time in putting in place the measures agreed with Central Railway.
Everyday large number of tankers, overloaded lorries continue to ply on the RoB further increasing the worries of railway officials who are continuously monitoring the impact on the structure that is in quite dangerous state.
After its preliminary audit, VNIT suggested primary measures and first and foremost was erection of height gauges on either side to prevent incursion of heavy vehicles. Second part was barricading the footpath of RoB as the bridge portion below it has degraded over the years and any further movement of vehicles could enlarge the cracks due to vibration.
Till date, NMC officials till date have only installed steel brackets at some points, although entire footpath on both sides was to be cordoned off.
During peak time, two-wheeler riders tend to cross over onto footpath in a bid to surge ahead as jams on the RoB have become a routine. When contacted, Dhananjay Mendulkar, Executive Engineer (EE), NMC, said, “We are aware of danger due to movement of heavy vehicles on the RoB and effective measures are being put in place.
Due to rains the fabrication work was delayed but we have installed brackets and few more would be installed in the middle.”
The EE also said they would be keeping distance of one metres in between two brackets and not even two wheelers would be able to move on footpaths. Some of the brackets are also affixed in square position that covers entire footpath.
“Work orders for erecting height barriers were issued and they would be put in place on either side within a week. We have ordered fabrication of barriers with height of four metres but would also lower if Railway officials feel so,” said, R G Bodile, Traffic Engineer, NMC.
Post monsoon second portion of structural audit work is likely to be taken up by VNIT but before that part of tar layer on RoB removed for second round of structural audit to measure impact of vibrations.