Bombay HC Orders Probe Into Lalbaug Flyover's Structural Flaws

The Bombay High Court orders BMC to investigate the early deterioration of Lalbaug Flyover, emphasising accountability and safety.

Bombay HC Orders Probe Into Lalbaug Flyover's Structural Flaws
(File Image)

The Bombay High Court (HC) ordered an investigation into the Lalbaug flyover on January 31. The flyover, built in 2012, developed cracks within five years. The court has asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to provide details of the investigation.

The court, led by Justice Arif S. Doctor and Chief Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyay, has asked the BMC to submit an affidavit. The affidavit should state whether the Statutory Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) found any errors or violations by the contractor during the flyover's construction.

Simplex Infrastructure had been given the contract for the project. The court stressed that any measures against the contractor should match the severity of the violations.

The court was informed about the issue during a hearing on a petition filed by civil engineer Bhagvanji Raiyani. Raiyani learned about the flyover's flaws from news reports, after which he asked the court to investigate and hold the contractor responsible for the poor construction. He also requested a structural assessment of the bridge.

The court expressed concern over the lack of transparency about the causes of the flyover's decline. It emphasised that those responsible for any possible structural issues should be held legally accountable.

The court asked the BMC about any actions taken against the contractor. It asked if the contractor had been blacklisted or if any recovery had been made. The BMC's lawyer informed the court that Simplex Infrastructure had received a show cause notice. However, the company has since gone into liquidation.

In a related petition filed by Raiyani in March 2017, the court ordered the BMC commissioner to investigate the errors in the Lalbaug flyover. The court had also asked the state government to form an expert panel to investigate why the flyover failed so soon after its construction.

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