By Sundeep Pouranik
Bhopal, Nov 6 (SocialNews.XYZ) After Gujarat's Morbi Bridge tragedy, concern over the condition of bridges over rivers and streams have emerged across the country. In Madhya Pradesh, where many cases of recently-built bridges getting damaged have been recorded, over a 100 bridges, built in pre-Independence era, are still being heavily used.
However, the state government and agencies are keeping a strict check on the condition of the bridges after the Gujarat tragedy.
About a decade and a half ago, the Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation (MPSTDC) developed tourist picnic spot 'Sair Sapata' in the state capital and installed a suspension bridge there.
When reports of the bridge not being tested regularly came to the fore, Mayor Malti Rai wrote a letter to the MPSTDC, seeking the bridge be got checked and a fitness certificate be provided.
A large number of tourists visit the spot on Saturdays and Sundays. The condition of a similar bridge in Indore is also being questioned.
Many such cases of concern over the status of bridges came to light because of recent heavy rains.
In Gwalior's Chambal area, more than half a dozen bridges were damaged, while, even in Bhopal, a part of a bridge located near the capital collapsed.
These instances testify to the sorry condition of the bridges built after Independence.
On the other hand, more than 100 such bridges, built during the British rule, are still in a condition to allow smooth flow of traffic.
Experts say that during the British era, bridges were built through arch technology - which is no longer used.
On the problems in newly-built bridges, officials of Madhya Pradesh Public Works Department and Road Development Corporation lament that they are unable to take strict actions against the flaws and irregularities by big contractors, due to political pressure.
Even if such companies get blacklisted, they soon resume their work as usual, added officials.