The Mahad incident is a wake-up call for us to look at the state of affairs of our bridges. Undoubtedly, we cannot predict all ‘acts of god’ or win against the ‘fury of nature’, but in this case, these lives could’ve been saved. In India no one wants to take responsibility of anything and this is the irony. The incident itself is showing the grave negligence and ignorance of PWD, road and safety department. If the bridge was so weak, then why it was opened for transportation? The structure that collapsed was built during British era, but the administration is still at fault; for lack of inspections, timely maintenance and safety measures. Who is responsible for allowing traffic on old bridge, when new bridge exists? There is an urgent need now to test and check all bridges by engaging the services of an expert technical team. No doubt the loss is huge and irreplaceable but citizens and administration will have to learn lesson from this mishap.
Vinod C. Dixit
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)