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]