National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has taken strict action against the defaulting firms on the unfortunate accident during the launching of girders on February 16, at the new four-lane bridge over River Ganga at downstream of Farakka Barrage including approaches connecting the Farakka-Raiganj section of National Highway (NH)-34 in West Bengal, leading to two casualties.
One of the under-construction spans had collapsed owing to the toppling of the launching girders leading to caving in of the erected span. Post the incident, NHAI had appointed a bridge expert to investigate the causes. It was found that the accident happened due to a lack of coordination between the contractor, design consultant and designer of launching girder in the design and execution of the superstructure of the bridge. Further, the contractor and consultants responsible for the design and launching girder system failed to present any convincing reasons during the investigation for the causes leading to the incident.
NHAI has accordingly taken action against the parties responsible for the accident. Qingdao Construction Engineering Group Co. Ltd., China, and RKEC Projects Ltd., India, have been debarred from participation in future projects jointly as well as severally for three years. VAX Consultants Pvt. Ltd. and Nagesh Consultants Pvt. Ltd. are debarred from participation in future projects jointly as well as severally for three years. New Delhi-based NC Infracon Consultant has been debarred from participation in future projects jointly as well as severally for three years.
Commenting on the matter Dr. Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, Chairman, NHAI said, “If any contractor or consultant deviates from the contractual obligations and compromises public safety, it becomes imperative for NHAI to take stringent action against such defaulters. It is warned that lapses shall not be tolerated and strict action shall be taken against defaulting firms and personnel.”