Mumbai: A major mishap was averted on Monday morning when a pillar and a section of an under-construction flyover on the Mumbai-Goa four-lane highway collapsed in Chiplun city in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district. The incident, which occurred around 8 a.m., damaged a crane machine that was working at the site, but no injuries or casualties were reported as the area was already cordoned off.
The flyover, which is part of the National Highway 66 (previously known as NH 17), is being built by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to ease the traffic congestion on the busy route that connects Mumbai, the capital city of Maharashtra, to Goa, a popular tourist destination. The flyover is expected to be completed by March 2024.
According to eyewitnesses, the pillar developed cracks and collapsed due to the weight of the girder that was being placed on it. The girder also fell down along with the pillar, crushing the crane machine underneath. The crane operator managed to escape unhurt. The locals and pedestrians who witnessed the collapse were shocked and scared by the loud noise and the dust that engulfed the area.
The NHAI officials and the local police rushed to the spot and cleared the debris. They also inspected the site and initiated an inquiry into the cause of the collapse. The NHAI has ordered a technical audit of the flyover project and sought a report from the contractor within 15 days. The contractor has also been asked to repair the damaged portion and ensure the safety and quality of the construction.
The collapse of the flyover has raised questions about the structural stability and engineering standards of such projects in India. In August 2023, a railway bridge under construction in Sairang, Mizoram, collapsed, killing 17 workers and injuring several others. In January 2023, a section of an under-construction bridge over the Ganga River in Bhagalpur, Bihar, collapsed for the second time.