In yet another testament to the city’s crumbling infrastructure, a portion of the Rajiv Gandhi bridge at Bhiwandi in Thane district developed cracks and collapsed on Wednesday morning.
The bridge, extending from Rajiv Gandhi Chowk to Sai Baba temple, connects Bhiwandi bypass road with Mumbai-Nashik highway.
Citizens were the first to notice debris falling from under the flyover, following which they alerted traffic police.
After a quick review, the area near the bridge was closed for vehicular traffic. A few minutes later, civic officials reached the spot and put up barricades near the bridge’s entrance and underneath the affected area.
Fortunately, no one was injured as none of the debris fell on any person or vehicle.
“A crater was formed on the bridge after some of its cement plaster fell off,” an official from the Bhiwandi Nizampur Municipal Corporation’s (BNCMC) disaster control cell was quoted as saying.
Some of the iron rods on the bridge were also dangling precariously. Parts of the dilapidated section can be clearly seen from under the bridge.
Officials from the civic body’s Disaster Management team, including BNCMC Commissioner Manohar Hirey and disaster cell chief Suresh Gaikwad, visited the spot earlier today to determine the extent of the damage.
Incidentally, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had travelled on the bridge just two days back during his visit to the town to attend the ‘Dahi Handi’ festival.
The collapse drew sharp criticism from netizens, who blamed the Congress-ruled municipal body for shunning their responsibility.
“This bridge in Bhiwandi is named after Rajiv Gandhi. This morning it has developed this (crack) and it’s not that old too. The worst part is Congress is ruling the municipality and none of your corporators have done nothing to repair the roads and the bridge,” tweeted one Khimasia Punit.
The mishap comes a day after portion of Majerhat bridge in Kolkata collapsed, resulting in the death of one person and leaving over 25 injured.View Realtime Updates