ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Tragedy of Bridge Management in West Bengal

Recurrent bridge collapses in West Bengal point out to the lack of coordinated institutional arrangements in the governance of bridge infrastructures in the state. Accountability in designing and construction, and supervision and maintenance, which strengthen different tiers of bridge governance system, are missing. Given the dearth of skilled workforce and the physical infrastructure for supervision, bridge maintenance is reduced to patchworks of painting railings and girders, without persistent evaluation of structural health and resultant repair or rehabilitation of infrastructure.

Three fatal road overbridge (ROB) collapses in Kolkata within a span of five years have triggered serious concerns regarding the management of bridge infrastructures in West Bengal. Though one cannot overlook the “humanness” of engineering, the increasing number of fatal structural disasters presents a confusing image of technological advancements (Petroski 1992). On the other hand, bridges being state-owned assets, governments cannot shirk their accountability for management of such infrastructures. Thus, bridge failures are needed to be introspected from the perspectives of both engineering as well as policy failures.

Institutional Arrangement

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Updated On : 4th Nov, 2018
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