Opposition demands judicial probe following Mahad bridge collapse

Bridge collapses on Mumbai-Goa highway, two ST buses with 22 passengers missing 8
Aerial view of the collapsed bridge. Picture: ANI

During the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly today, the opposition sought a judicial probe into the Mahad tragedy, where at least 22 people in two buses were swept away after a British-era bridge collapsed on the Mumbai-Goa Highway.

Raising the issue in the State Assembly, former CM Prithviraj Chavan said a judicial probe should be conducted and action should be taken against those who allowed the old bridge to remain open for public use.

“The life of the bridge, built by the British, had ended after completion of 100 years. Despite this, an officer certified in May that the bridge was good for traffic. A case against 302 IPC should be filed against that officer,” former Deputy CM Ajit Pawar said.

The NCP leader also questioned how a wrong audit of the bridge could be conducted. “Why were warnings of the weather bureau ignored? The state government is responsible for this tragedy,” he said.

Following today’s incident, Minister for Public Works Eknath Shinde told reporters that a structural audit of all bridges in Maharashtra been ordered.

Around 11:30 pm on Tuesday, two state transport buses with 22 people went missing after the vehicles were swept away in the swollen Savitri river in Raigad as an old bridge collapsed at Mahad on the Mumbai-Goa highway. Currently, 4 NDRF teams comprising of 115 personnel are conducting the rescue operation.

While operations are in full swing, the NDRF has only managed to recover two bodies so far. Over a dozen boats, a naval plane and multiple helicopters have been deployed for rescue operations.

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