Seeking approvals and special financial assistance for state bridges along the national highways, NH 17 and NH 4, Ramkrishna Dhavalikar, PWD Minister, on Sunday met the Union Minister for Highways and Road Transport, C P Joshi.
In this regard, Dhavalikar had submitted a letter from the Chief Minister to the Union minister urging him to grant approval for construction of the Zuari, Talpona, Galgibaga, Borim and Khandepar bridges and financial assistance for the same. However, special assistance has been placed on the Zuari Bridge.
These bridges are part of the national highway expansion project and are with the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has promised to build a new Zuari bridge as part of its manifesto and provision for the same has been made in the budget.
The Zuari Bridge, a major link between the state’s two districts is now closed for heavy traffic within 14 years since it was commissioned. Next in the line may be the Borim Bridge that is showing similar signs of deterioration.
The pre-stressing cement concrete technology of balanced cantilever bridges is banned in the UK after realising loopholes in the technology, according to experts, but thousands of such bridges have been built in India since mid 60s. Bridges with smaller spans, especially built in the interiors may not have immediate problems but the ones like the Zuari Bridge, which has the longest spans of at least 122 metres, and built in the coastal areas are at a major risk.