Mumbai: Finding fault with the ‘layer upon layer’ of asphalt road policy of authorities in Aurangabad, the Bombay high court recently questioned whether they were waiting for a fatal flyover collapse in Aurangabad city before amending it. The HC said the authorities should scrap all those roads or flyovers that had been following the policy of layering one asphalt layer over the other.
A bench of Justices Ravindra Ghuge and Sanjay Mehare was hearing a PIL filed by a local resident seeking directives to the authorities to do away with the policy of the civic body to put ‘layer over layer’ of asphalt on various flyovers and roads in the city.
Notably, the bench had, in an earlier hearing, ordered the authorities to consider doing away with this policy. It had even ordered the authorities to conduct an audit of all such roads and the adverse impact of such a surfacing policy.
However, at a hearing on Friday, the authorities informed the judges that it wouldn't be possible for them to do away with such a policy.
Having heard the submissions, the judges said, “It is beyond our comprehension as to why are the experts of the concerned departments, which have constructed these fly overs, unable to understand that the layer-upon-layer policy will keep increasing the weight on the flyover and someday, the columns and beams of the flyover will collapse under such increasing weight and pressure, keeping in view the heavy vehicular traffic over such flyovers.
“Are these experts waiting to see the day when a flyover would collapse killing people?” the bench questioned, adding, “If this happens, will those who have lost their lives be brought back to life by payment of compensation to their families and will that undo the damage which is likely to be caused?”
“Before such an unfortunate incident occurs, would it be appropriate to immediately scrap the roads, notwithstanding the monetary loss it is likely to cause, so as to reduce the weight on the flyover and then lay the surface layer within permissible limits so as to avoid damage to or collapsing of the flyover, as this will save human lives?” the judges asked.
“We wish to record that if this is likely to happen, it would be most pragmatic
for us to direct the removal of the layers on the flyovers, so as to reduce the weight to permissible limits and avert an unfortunate incident like the collapse of a flyover,” the judges opined.
The bench accordingly ordered the Government Engineering College to submit a brief report, indicating as to what would be the damage that is likely to be caused to such a flyover.
The hearing has been adjourned till December 15.