shocking data

An average of seven structures collapsed every day in India between 2010-14

PTI8_3_2016_000079B The remaining portion of Mahad-Poladpur bridge which was washed away in flood water of Savitri river on the Mumbai-Goa highway in Raigad district on Wednesday | PTI Photo
  • It was the duty of civic authorities to carry out regular audits and warn the unsuspecting motorists of the possible perils of using a bridge that was built around 100 years ago.

At least 42 people were missing as the British-era Mahad bridge on Mumbai-Goa highway collapsed on the raging Savitri River on Wednesday. The latest man-made tragedy is a grim-reminder of the pathetic state of the country's infrastructure, and the shocking depths of apathy of the civic officials.

Data complied by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) say about 13,178 people were killed between 2010 and 2014 in various incidents of structural collapse. A data-journalism portal, Factly.in, after analysing such deaths between 2010 and 2014, reported that an average of seven structures collapsed every day in the country.

The NCRB has listed deaths due to collapse of structures as one of the 'unnatural causes' in its annual report, Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India. This category also includes, the deaths caused by collapse of residential buildings, house, dams, bridges and others.

According to the data, 2,682 people lost their lives to collapse of various structures in 2010, in 2011 the death toll in such incidents rose to 3,161, in 2012, it was 2,682, in 2013 it was 2,832 and in 2014 it was 1,821, which was the lowest of the five years.

According to the report, most of the deaths due to collapse of structures took place in major cities, with Uttar Pradesh leading the country in this category.

According to IndiaSpend, between 2010 and 2014, Uttar Pradesh recorded 2,065 deaths, 1,343 people were killed in Maharashtra, 1,330 in Andhra Pradesh, 1,176 in Madhya Pradesh, 1,154 in Tamil Nadu and 1,067 in Gujarat.

Does these statistics mean anything to our civic authorities? Do they even understand that if they had delivered their sworn duties, incidents like Mahad bridge failure could have been prevented?

Following the Mahad bridge collapse, the authorities were quick to blame it on the heavy rainfall. But, the real accountability lies in the functioning of the government agencies, who are responsible for building new structures and maintaining the old ones.

Until the tragedy struck, according to reports, some experts were of the opinion that Mahad bridge, made of lime and surki, was safe for motorists.

It was the duty of civic authorities to carry out regular audits and warn the unsuspecting motorists of the possible perils of using a bridge that was built around 100 years ago.

In the race of starting largest infrastructure projects in the country, the consecutive governments have constantly failed to ensure the durability and longevity of our existing structures resulting in the loss of tens of thousands of lives.

Our top cities come to a standstill during heavy rains. Our pothole-ridden roads claim thousands of lives. The collapse of the residential complexes, under-construction buildings and bridges have seemingly become a daily occurrence.

Now the questions: how many more such structural failures will it take for the authorities concerned to wake up from their deep slumber? How many more deaths will it take for the governments to take proactive efforts in preventing such man-made tragedies?

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Topics : #accident | #Maharashtra

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