Seven Potholes In Five Years, Failed Report From Five Testing Centres AMC Finally Reconciles To Hatkeshwar Demolition

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Seven Potholes In Five Years, Failed Report From Five Testing Centres, AMC Finally Reconciles To Hatkeshwar Demolition

| Updated: April 18, 2023 15:55

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation is getting its act ready to demolish the shoddily built Hatkeshwar flyover after its three-member expert panel ruled in favour of bringing down the structure, shared sources. 

Once that happens, the Hatkeshwar flyover, built in 2017, will become the first bridge in Gujarat to be demolished within such a short period. Inaugurated in 2017, the four-lane flyover connects CTM and Khokhra areas. It was built at an “official” cost of Rs 50 crore. 

After the civic body registered an FIR in the dubiously built Hatkeshwar flyover on Saturday, a team of the Khokhra police visited offices of the contractor Ajay Engi-Infrastructure Pvt Ltd (AEIPL) and the project management consultant, SGS India Pvt Ltd to take statements. No official was found on spot. 

The team visited the offices in Ahmedabad and Mehsana on Sunday and found that none of the responsible officials present at the addresses.  Khokhra Inspector AY Patel confirmed that the police team visited the offices of the two companies.

Sources in the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) said that the civic body will also announce blacklisting of Ajay Engineering Infra Pvt Ltd, the firm that built the flyover, and lodge a police complaint against it for allegedly swindling the AMC and endangering lives.

They said that the project management consultant, SGS India Pvt Ltd, will also be blacklisted by the AMC. According to sources, the AMC officials responsible for the alleged negligence will also be suspended and action will be taken against them.

Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation had issued the flyover work order to Ajay Engineering Infra Pvt Ltd in 2015. The project cost was fixed at Rs 50.88 crore, and the tender was approved at Rs 39.87 crore. The construction firm was paid Rs 35.55 crore in the final bill.

Built-in 2017, the flyover was closed to the public after a large pothole developed on July 19, 2022. Earlier, six potholes had developed on the same flyover. Civic officials sent the samples of the construction material from the flyover to two private labs, in Mumbai and Ahmedabad, for examination.

The AMC also sent the material to five institutions for testing including IIT-Roorkee. All the lab reports indicated that the construction was of poor quality. The AMC was finally forced to admit that the flyover was too dangerous to be used.

Thereon, it issued five show-cause notices to Ajay Engineering Infra Pvt Ltd and SGS India Pvt Ltd in the last six months. However, neither of the two parties have responded to these notices.

Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation sources said that the last test report by E-Cube Laboratory, Mumbai, was submitted to the civic body chief. The report has found that the pillar strength of the flyover is too poor. Sources said that it is not possible to repair the bridge.

A senior official said that the AMC will recover Rs 35.55 crore from the construction company and the consultancy fees will be recovered from the project management consultant. “A vigilance department inquiry is also on. So, there will be action against the responsible Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation officials,” the official said.

Officials, however, refrained from commenting on whether AMC supervising engineers and the design consultant of the flyover failed to anticipate heavy vehicle movement and gauge the poor quality of construction while approving the Flyover for opening. 

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