Indian Railways has completed 3rd party audit of 815 bridges including road overbridges (ROBs) and flyovers (FOBs) out of identified 1,107 bridges/ROBs/FOBs to ensure the safety of people.
Indian Railways has a vast network of 1,50,390 bridges on its tracks across the country.
In addition, 3,449 numbers of Road Over Bridges (ROBs) have been provided to facilitate the public to cross the tracks on roads.
For passenger/pedestrian crossing, 3,771 numbers of FOBs have been provided by Indian Railways for convenience of public and rail users, as on April 1, 2020.
Indian Railways follows a well-established system of annual inspection and maintenance of railway bridges/ROBs/FOBs by the designated railway officials as per the laid down schedule.
“To establish more confidence and reliability on the existing infrastructure, it was decided in 2018 to carryout third party audit of identified and critical bridges/ROBs/FOBs to have an independent expert view on the condition of the bridge,” Subhanan Chanda, chief public relations officer, NFR, said in a statement.
The objective of 3rd party inspection by expert agencies was to have a bird’s eye view of the condition of the critical components which may have been adversely affected in corrosion-prone areas.
The 3rd party audit of critical bridges/ROBs/FOBs is being carried out by expert agencies like IITs, NITs and SERC, the statement said.
Zonal railways were advised to carry out one time third party technical audit of the bridges duly checking all aspects of the bridge (strength assessment including NDT testing, design adequacy for present day loading, physical condition etc. as considered necessary) by engaging expert national/international agencies.
The third party audit of the bridges was undertaken as per the following priority:
All mega bridges, Railway Bridges with ORN 1 ratings, ROBs & FOBs; Railway bridges with ORN 2 ratings and bridges with speed restrictions; all important bridges more than 80 yrs old and any other bridge which the Railways considers critical from condition point of view.
Major benefits of 3rd party audit was realised in Mumbai area where dilapidated conditions were noticed in 49 ROBs.
Essential repairs were carried out in 43 ROBs and 6 ROBs were closed, dismantled and their rebuilding is under progress.
Simultaneously, the dilapidated condition was noticed in 127 FOBs.
Essential repairs were carried out in 95 FOBs and 32 FOBs were closed & dismantled for replacement. Rebuilding work has been completed in 20 FOBs and 12 FOBs are in progress.
“To make the entire system transparent, boards have been provided at all ROBs and FOBs. In respect of railway bridges, boards have been provided at the stations (for next block section in increasing Km) at suitable locations on main platform,” it added.