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Most bridges in MP, Andhra, UP of socio-economic importance: govt data

Bridges identified on basis of factors such as connectivity, daily socio-economic activities in the region

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Most bridges in MP, Andhra, UP of socio-economic importance: govt data
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Bridges on national highways connecting Chennai-Jharpokharia, Mumbai-Agra, Lucknow-Barauni, Pindwara-Allahabad and Shivpuri-Lucknow have been identified as socioeconomically important, a government data revealed. There are an estimated 1.5 lakh bridges on India's national highways.

As per the data, the bridges identified on basis of factors such as connectivity, daily socio-economic activities of the areas connect, population and average traffic movement on them, are located in Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.

Indian Bridge Management System (IBMS) under the ministry of road transport and highways – which maintains an inventory of all bridges in the country – accords a socio-economic bridge rating number to the bridge identified, aside rating its structural condition for timely repair and rehabilitation.

For instance, bridges on the national highways of Andhra Pradesh connecting areas such as Nellore, Kavali, Gudur, Sullurpet, as well as those connecting Ongole, Chirala, Markapur have been accorded a high rating in a scale of 0 to 9, in terms of connectivity, social impact and economic growth, implying their importance to the areas they are located.

Similarly, the bridges on national highways of UP, passing by Lucknow, Mirzapur, Allahabad, Kanpur Dehat and Jalaun have been rated as the socio-economically important, not just on the parameters of connectivity, social impact or economic growth they contribute to, but also on the fact that an alternate route to connect the same areas would be far off.

While bridges on national highways proximate to Chambal and Morena areas of MP have been rated high in terms of socio-economic importance, bridges on national highways near Dehradun in Uttarakhand have been given a similar rating.

Speaking about this aspect of bridges, a senior government official said the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia is a perfect example of how a bridge can contribute immensely to the socio-economic development of the country.

"The Sydney Harbour Bridge (connecting Sydney's central business district to the North Shore) is a prime example of how a bridge contributed to the socio-economic development of the areas it connected over the years. Better connectivity enables better economic growth of the areas connected," the official said.

Similarly, during the inauguration of the Dhola-Sadiya bridge –the longest bridge of the country connecting Dhola in Arunachal Pradesh to Sadiya in Assam, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken about how it will pave the way for economic growth in the North East and bring about an economic revolution to the region.

Launched last year by union roads minister Nitin Gadkari, the IBMS also has the wherewithal to identify cut off areas such as river islands like Majuli in Assam, and present the data to the government so that their connectivity through bridges can be planned, which would foster socio-economic growth in such areas.

However, an official said the IBMS has not been given such a mandate by the government. The IBMS has completed inventory over 1.6 lakh bridges in the country, of which around 6,500 bridges have been identified as structurally distressed and 147 dilapidated, needing immediate attention.

NEW STATUS

  • Bridges identified on basis of factors such as connectivity, daily socio-economic activities in the region.
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