Kerala State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC) chairman J.B. Koshy has directed the Railways to take measures soon to strengthen the railway over-bridge (RoB) at Nagampadom.
The directive was issued when a complaint regarding the RoB was taken up at a sitting of the commission held here on Thursday.
The complainant, T.K. Suresh Kumar, an advocate, had stated that the bridge was in a weak condition and that it posed a threat to the commuters. According to him, the two cross beams that connect the
arches on either side were poorly maintained and also came in contact with heavy vehicles that ply on the road. Mr. Kumar demanded the removal of the beams and urgent renovation of the bridge.
The Public Works Department (PWD) also agreed that the bridge required strengthening and had written to the Railways stating the same.
According to officials who had represented the department at the meeting, an inspection had been conducted on June 29 to evaluate the condition of the RoB.
However, the railway officials said there were no issues with the bridge and that maintenance activities were being conducted on a regular basis. The cross beams and the bridge were strengthened using three iron girders some months ago, they said.
After hearing the views of all the parties, Mr. Koshy pointed out that ensuring the safety of the bridge was the responsibility of the Railways. According to him, the Railways should also be held accountable in the event of any accident. He asked the Railways to take measures to either strengthen or replace the cross-beams at the earliest.
Representing the Divisional Railway Manager of the Thiruvananthapuram division at the meeting, Senior Section Engineer Anil Kumar said that a new bridge would be constructed during the next financial year to replace the existing one at Nagampadom.
All arrangements are being made to construct the new bridge planned to be 14 metres wide, he said.