Safety audit of old bridges

Those bridges which are older but still in use need to be seen on regular basis whether they were fit enough to be used for which safety audits at regular intervals are needed to be undertaken. In this connection, ‘Excelsior’ has already drawn the attention of the authorities towards the need to verify on regular basis, whether bridges of or more than 20 years age were fit to be used and the Lieutenant Governor exactly two months back had issued directives in this regard but till date, those directives have not travelled beyond the concerned files and the offices.
In fact, the concerned department of Roads and Buildings is reported to be undecided in how to do all about it and the officers there are shifting responsibilities on one another instead of addressing the issue. Periodic inspections and verification on various parameters in respect of safety of these bridges especially the ones with iron and steel structures vide cogent Government orders stand neglected as on date. Not only that creating of earthquake resistance infrastructure too was stressed upon vide various Government directives.
It is astonishing to find that even the list of such bridges in Kashmir valley has not been prepared so far let alone conducting audits and repairs etc as a consequence of the audits. What is the problem in that is not known except reluctance to do the work. The intricacies of the officialdom working is such that it is not decided whether Roads and Buildings department was to do the job or the Designs, inspection and quality control wings were to do it. Whatever the case, the lives of commuters were imperilled by not attending to and proceeding with the matter of conducting safety audits of these bridges and attending to its reports for complying . The concerned authorities need to look into the matter on priority.