Sumanahalli bridge is crumbling
Ignored pothole turns into crater, plaster falls on road below during peak traffic hours; No casualties
BENGALURU: A portion of Sumanahalli bridge crumbled and collapsed on the road below during peak traffic hour, around 6.30pm Friday. Luckily, no commuter or vehicle came under the falling debris.It was first noticed by traffic policemen who swiftly closed the flyover and diverted traffic, and called the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), which rushed an inspection team to the spot.
According to police and BBMP officials, a huge pothole on the bridge, between Nagarabhavi and Dr Rajkumar Samadhi, had been ignored for months. Heavy rain and round-the-clock traffic movement exposed the iron framework, until finally, the weakened cement and plaster dropped down. The pothole and fallen portion is said to measure around 40cm wide and 60cm long.The BBMP and traffic police have closed the flyover for three days, and put up barricades at the beginning of the flyover to divert traffic.
“This is first time in the history of any flyover in the city that a part of the flyover has fallen on the road below, only the Hebbal flyover had developed cracks. Luckily, there has been no death or injury. It only goes to show that there has been no maintenance of the flyover for years,” said a senior BBMP official.
Commuters along Magadi Road will be in for a tough time, as it is a state highway largely used by private buses, trucks and other public transport, apart from private vehicles. Compounding the problem is the civil work going on: the road sharing the boundary with Beggars’ Colony, just next to the flyover, is being laid. White-topping work has been taken up on Outer Ring Road and the road on the right of the flyover is shrunk to one lane with auto tippers and garbage vehicles permanently parked here. All these issues are sure to lead to traffic snarls along this stretch.
BBMP has called for private consultants to inspect the site on Saturday morning and lay the plan of how the pothole needs to be repaired immediately. The corporation has also decided to take up maintenance of the flyover. The flyover was constructed by Bangalore Development Authority and handed over to BBMP four years ago. But over the years, none of the agencies undertook any maintenance. The BBMP commissioner issued show-cause notice to West Zone engineers and pulled up the officials.
The flyover is the main link connecting West Bengaluru to other parts of the city, especially Outer Ring Road. It runs through three BBMP zones — RR Nagar, Dasarahalli and West — and none of the engineers have taken the responsibility to maintain or check the road condition, leading to the problem, say officials.