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Bridge management

Even though, as per available data, there are about 1.5 lakh bridges on India’s national highway network, bridge management is still in its infancy. The government is faced with the herculean task of building more infrastructure, and takes the maintenance task as priority only when complaints mount or accidents/calamities occur.

Creation of a machinery to maintain national assets with designed duties and responsibilities as also funding such a mechanism may be a permanent solution. With the expanding network of roads in our country, especially national highways, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has started an initiative since July 2015 to set up a bridges maintenance solution/system. The result has been the creation of the Indian Bridge Management System (IBMS) in coordination with the National Highways Authority of India. This system was formally inaugurated by Minister for Road Transport, Highways & Shipping Nitin Gadkari on October 4 this year at the launching of a bridge asset management programme held in New Delhi.

Highlights of IBMS

Creation of a reliable data base of bridges across the country, with particular reference to lifelines like the National Highways; take an inventory of bridges, such as, location, date of construction, details of engineering characteristics, life span etc; rate the structural condition leading to structural rating number, also taking into account the socio-economic importance; assess the repair and rehabilitation requirements of each bridge listed; estimate the funds requirements of the bridges for maintenance and plan to raise the amount; put in place a system for timely repair and rehabilitation; the need for systems for managing all governmental/public assets.

While bridges on National Highways are of great importance, similar is the position of State Highways and other rural roads which do have many bridges, small or large, built on them. Many of these bridges are built more than 50 years ago. Poor maintenance and heavy monsoon rains cause heavy damage and sometimes wash away some of them in full or part. It, therefore, becomes necessary to create systems like IBMS in all States with sufficient back-up of expertise, funding and supervision over their working .

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2022 7:15:31 PM |

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