It's been almost a month since the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation cleared funds to repair the Dindoshi flyover, but clearance from the Mumbai Traffic Police is expected only in this week. In this one month, the condition of the bridge has worsened.
Ever since the structural defects and cracks on the south-bound Dindoshi flyover came to light on October 1 last year, it was decided to ensure that heavy vehicles like tankers, trucks, trailers, etc. do not use the bridge.
MSRDC vice chairman Anil Diggikar said, "The no objection certificate (NOC) from the Mumbai Traffic Police is pending; we will start the repair job whenever we get an approval."
On February 25, the MSRDC had cleared Rs56 lakh to repair the bridge. In all, nine slabs need to be re-casted. This will mean traffic snarls for motorists heading south.
Dr BK Upadhyay, joint commissioner of police (traffic), said, "An engineer from MSRDC visited us on Tuesday explaining the details of the repair work. We will give them the NOC in a day or two. The repair work is expected to start very soon and the MSRDC has said that it will be completed before monsoon."
Upadhyay further said that at least one or two lanes on the bridge will be kept open for traffic as it is not feasible to shut down the flyover completely. "We have also asked the MSRDC to repair the road below the bridge to ensure smooth flow of traffic. The work has to be completed before monsoon. Because, once the monsoon starts, it is going to be chaos on the Western Express Highway (WEH) if the repair work is still on," Upadhyay added.
According to the police, the traffic is likely to be diverted to SV Road or Link Road. Every day, at least four lakh vehicles use the WEH between Borivli and Goregaon. An estimated two lakh vehicles use the Link Road and around 1.5 lakh vehicles take the SV Road on a daily basis.
According to a report prepared by the Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay, the flyover has inadequate concrete strength. However, the report also stated that there is no specific reason behind the cracks that have appeared in the slab. The reason could be primarily because of bending of the slabs due to fatigue, overloading and curved shape of the bridge.