PWD engineers inspect Assolna bridge

A day after `The Navhind Times’ published the news report on the ‘weak’ bridge at Assolna,  the PWD executive engineer, Mr Vijay Mardolkar,  and the assistant  engineer, Mr  Rosario Pereira, inspected the bridge, on Saturday, using a canoe.

This daily had highlighted that the panchayat body had been  complaining of the `weak’ bridge for the last couple of months, but the PWD failed to pay heed to their complaints.  
“The bridge is overall safe for use. There are five spans of 17 and half meters each of which two spans  require attention. Less than  a meter of  iron rod is exposed because of existing less cover of reinforcement  guardians,’’ Mr Mardolkar disclosed after inspecting the  bridge.  
He was, however, quick to add that there is no structural defect to the bridge.
The PWD executive engineer speaking to this daily at the site  informed  that the department will propose  its repairs  with  guniting  and cement grouting.
“External painting with anti-corrosive paint will be proposed to avoid further corrosion of the rod,’’ he added.
When asked  to comment on the  panchayat members allegation that the  bridge was not attended to  for the last  20  years,  Mr Mardolkar   stated that it was incorrect  as the  inspections show that  the repair work was carried out a few years ago.
He, however, opined that since the  flow of traffic is  more on the bridge and that it was the only bridge connecting the people, a second  parallel bridge can be proposed.
He said in negative when questioned whether there was any proposal  from the villagers for a new bridge.
“The local MLA can propose a  parallel bridge,’’ the executive engineer said but hastened to add that “it does no means that the present  bridge is  weak.”  
Mr Mardolkar, and Mr Pereira  hired a canoe from a local  fisherman to inspect the bridge on Saturday morning. They were also accompanied by a  technical  assistant.
After checking each and  every span  they came to the shore.  They informed that the length of the bridge is 102. 5 meters  and  width 6.6 meters including footpaths.
Interestingly, the Assolna sarpanch, Ms Framila H Almeida, expressed displeasure for the PWD not informing them even though they had insisted on a joint inspection of the bridge. [NT]