Ahmedabad’s Hatkeswar Bridge: Breaking Corruption’s Grip with Partial Demolition

The decision to partially demolish Ahmedabad’s contentious Hatkeswar Bridge in the eastern area was made by Municipal Commissioner M. Thennaresan. Instead of a complete demolition, the plan is to remove the section between the two main spans of the bridge. Reconstruction or repairs will address any issues in the remaining span or pillars. This crucial renovation work will cost Rs. 24.87 crores.

Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner M. Thennaresan has announced that the tender process for the demolition and reconstruction of Hatkeswar Bridge will commence within a week. However, it’s important to note that the entire bridge won’t be demolished. Only the two problematic main spans, identified as having substandard construction, will be replaced. Additionally, areas requiring reinforcement will undergo re-troffing to strengthen weak structures. Thus, instead of a complete replacement, a portion of Hatkeswar Bridge will be demolished and reconstructed. The estimated cost for this project is currently set at Rs 24.87 crore.

The announcement regarding the demolition of Hatkeswar Bridge was made during the General Assembly on September 29th. In response to the opposition Congress’s demand for a specific demolition date, Municipal Commissioner M. Thennaresan stated that the tender for demolishing Hatkeswar Bridge would be issued within the next 4-5 days, indicating that the demolition process is imminent. Currently, a police investigation into the bridge is ongoing. Jagdish Rathore, an opposition Congress member and Amraiwadi corporator, raised the question of the delay in demolishing Hatkeswar Bridge, given that the announcement had been made by the Municipal Commissioner. The timeline for the demolition was a point of inquiry.

The construction of the Hatkeswar Bridge, connecting Khokhra to CTM and linking the Ahmedabad-Vadodara Expressway with the National Highway, was awarded to Ajay Engineering Infrastructure Pvt Ltd in the year 2015. Construction commenced in 2015 and was successfully concluded in 2017. However, during its initial phase of use, the bridge experienced multiple instances of gaps and structural issues, primarily attributed to poor construction quality. Consequently, barricades were placed to restrict access to the bridge temporarily. Despite these challenges, the bridge was eventually reopened for use.

In June 2022, a significant gap in the bridge, large enough to expose 8 to 10 feet long rods, was discovered. Laborers filled this gap without the presence of officials or employees. In response to this issue, the Municipal Commissioner conducted a presentation and directed a team of experienced engineers to assess the bridge’s safety. An estimate of Rs 90 lakh was provided for closing and repairing the bridge on June 13, 2022.

Subsequent samples were taken from the bridge and sent to two private laboratories for analysis. The results revealed that instead of using M45-grade materials, which include cement, sand, concrete, etc., there was a 30 percent deficiency in the quality of materials used. The report confirmed the use of subpar materials in the construction.

The Bridge Project Department of the Municipal Corporation conducted various tests on the Hatkeswar Bridge, revealing subpar construction quality in the main two spans and eight pillars. Consequently, a decision has been made to demolish these sections. If necessary, the Municipal Corporation will also carry out additional tests and procure reports on the bridge’s condition.

Should the samples from other parts of the bridge exhibit substandard construction, those sections will also be subject to demolition. To facilitate this process, the Municipal Corporation has initiated a tender for the demolition of any portion of the bridge where technical deficiencies are identified.

Niyati Rao

Niyati Rao is a seasoned writer and avid consumer who specializes in crafting informative and engaging articles and product reviews. With a passion for research and a knack for finding the best deals, Niyati enjoys helping readers make informed decisions about their purchases.