Nov 1, 2022

What is the Reason of collapse of Morbi Foot Suspension Bridge in Gujrat?

More than a 100-year-old suspension bridge over the Machchhu River in Gujarat's Morbi district of Gujarat, 
located 300 km from the state capital Gandhinagar. Jhulto Pul (Hanging Bridge) was a 230m long, 1.25m wide pedestrian suspension bridge over the Machchhu River, built during British rule in India in the 19th century. It was inaugurated on 20th February 1879. It collapsed on Sunday(30.10.2022 at 6:30 PM). Officials have not yet confirmed how many people were on the bridge when tragedy struck, but estimates between 400 and 500 people while it had a capacity of only 125. Around 600 tickets were sold at Rs 17 per 
person. As many as 141 people have been reported dead so far, while two are missing and More than 177 people have been rescued, the police said. The century-old cable suspension bridge, which had reopened five days ago after extensive repairs and renovation for seven months, collapsed into the river, sending hundreds 
plunging into the water. Search and rescue operations are underway. An investigation panel has, meanwhile, been formed to probe the incident. Besides, ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for the injured have been announced. 

The bridge is owned by Morbi municipality, which signed a contract with the private trust Oreva for maintenance and operations a few months prior. A Morbi-based company, Ajanta Manufacturing Pvt Ltd., had also been awarded a 15-year contract for the maintenance and management of the bridge. The toll bridge 
reopened on 26 October 2022 on the occasion of the Gujarati New Year, after being closed for repairs for six months. 
According to initial reports, the bridge was reopened ahead of schedule after repairs and without the required fitness certificate from the local civic authorities. It had more than 500 people on it while it had a capacity of only 125. The chief officer of the municipality, who had given the contract for repairs after the 2001 earthquake, said the private firm responsible for the renovations "threw the bridge open to visitors without notifying us, and therefore, we couldn't get a safety audit of the bridge conducted. 

On 30 October 2022, four days after reopening, the bridge collapsed at 6:30 p.m. Security footage of the 
bridge showed the structure shaking violently and people holding onto cables and fencing on either side of 
the bridge before the walkway gave way. Later imaging showed the walkway had divided at the mid-point, with some pieces still hanging from snapped cables, during rescue operations. A survivor claimed there were too many people on the bridge and they could barely move, and that some victims were crushed by pieces of the bridge. Five teams from the National Disaster Response Force started rescue operations. Later they were joined by Army, Navy and Air Force staff. Police, military and disaster response teams were deployed for rescue operations. At least 141 people were confirmed dead, and more than 180 were rescued, with many still missing. A large number of the victims were teens, women and the elderly. The victims include 47 children. 
Nine Arrested. FIR Against Maintenance Agencies. 
The bridge was under repair for the past seven months and had reopened just four days before the tragic incident took place 0n 26 Oct 2022. The police have arrested nine people in connection with the bridge collapse incident. Earlier, it registered an FIR on charges of culpable homicide against agencies given the task of maintenance and operation of the bridge. 
City-based clocks and e-bike maker Oreva Group was given the contract for the renovation and operation of the bridge. Morbi Superintendent of Police (SP) Rahul Tripathi said some people have been called for preliminary questioning after the registration of the FIR on Sunday. After the completion of the maintenance, the agency opened the bridge to the public on October 26. As per the FIR, the incident took place because of the "callous approach" of the agency people. The FIR further stated that persons concerned 
or agencies did not pay attention to the quality of maintenance as well as repair work of the bridge. 

Police in the Indian state of Gujarat has arrested nine people in connection with the collapse of a pedestrian bridge that killed at least 141 people. Four of those detained are employees of a firm contracted to maintain the bridge in the town of Morbi. Hundreds were on the structure when it gave way, sending people screaming for help into the river below in the dark. Hopes of finding more survivors are fading. Many children, women and elderly people are among the dead. "Of these nine, two work as managers, while two work as ticket booking clerks [all employed by Oreva] at the bridge site," he told a news conference. The other five accused include two people contracted to repair the structure, as well as security personnel at the bridge. There was no immediate response from Oreva to news of the arrests. A five-member committee was formed by the Government of Gujarat to investigate and determine the cause Eight people have been investigated over the incident. Nine people were arrested for their connections to the incident. 
Suspension Bridge.
The Suspension Bridge, an engineering marvel built at the turn of the century, reflects the progressive and scientific nature of the rulers of Morbi. 
The suspension bridge is a unique bridge with overhead cables supporting its roadway called a span. Longer the span, the more it will hang. Usually, it is made over water, since building support pillars is not easy and disturbs water traffic like ships etc. Not that it is not safe. Rather, they take less time and cost to build, so they are a better option for building bridges. The load on the bridge depends on the length of the span, which is used as roadways and the tensile strength of cables. Load capacity can be increased up to an extent with suspension cables but overhauling it completely would require making changes in structural design. This was built to give a unique identity to Morbi using the latest technology available in those days, in Europe. It is 1.25 m wide and spans 233 m on the Machchhu River connecting Darbargadh Palace and Lakhdhirji Engineering College. 
History of Morbi Suspension Bridge.
The Morbi suspension bridge is one of the tourist attractions in the district and was installed in the British era. It was built to give a unique identity to the place. The bridge was built in the reign of Waghjee Thakor, who ruled over it from 1879 till 1948. Among other construction work 
that he oversaw during his rule, Waghjee Thakor's Mani Mandir is considered to be the 'symbol of love' and is a popular tourist spot. It was constructed using the latest technology that was available at the time. It is 1.25 m wide and spans 233 m. The structure was inspired by the Colonial influence and was built to connect 
Darbargadh Palace with Nazarbag Palace (the residences of the then royalty) at that time. People on Bridge. Activities Under the Bridge. Collapse of Bridge. 
Possible Reasons Behind the Mishap. 
An investigation into the suspension bridge collapse has already begun. The Morbi bridge collapse might have been a result of major lapses by the authorities responsible for the renovation of the more-than-acentury-old bridge. 

Possible reasons that led to the mishap are: 

(a) Oreva group, which was awarded the contract to maintain and manage the bridge by the Morbi municipality, reportedly had no experience in the construction business. While the firm specialises in CFL bulbs, wall clocks, and e-bikes, it is unknown how it managed to get the contract to maintain an over-100-
year-old bridge. Concerns have also been raised about whether safety checks were carried out before the bridge was reopened. 

(b) The bridge in Morbi, Gujarat, was reopened five days ago, after extensive repairs and renovation. It was closed for seven months for renovation and was allegedly reopened five months ahead of schedule. 

(c) Apparently, the local authorities had not issued a fitness certificate before the reopening of the bridge. 
The private contractor, the Oreva group, didn't take any clearance from us for the reopening of the bridge (local municipal body). The local municipal body said that no final inspection was carried out as the privatecompany didn't inform us that the bridge was being reopened. There was no fitness certificate or permission given by the local municipal body to reopen the bridge. 

(d) Around 600 tickets were sold at Rs 17 per person. This suggested that there were "too many people" on the bridge, which possibly led to the collapse. No crowd-control measures were taken. 

(e) An Oreva group said that the bridge collapsed as too many people in the mid-section of the bridge were trying to sway it from one way to the other. 

(f) The municipal chief officer has said that earlier only 25 people were allowed on the bridge post this latest renovation. The capacity of the bridge was supposed to increase. But the contractor didn't mention to what margin the capacity was to be increased." 

(g) The CCTV video capturing the incident shows people standing on the suspension bridge with some of them seeming to deliberately shake it. This may have added unnecessary load on the structure causing the thick cables to snap in places. A few moments later, the bridge is seen collapsing, killing. People jumped on the suspension bride. 

(h) Suspension bridges are not only subjected to dead load but also to a dynamic load of wind and of people 
(who in the instant case were dancing and rejoicing on it). The latter can create resonance increasing the amplitude of the vibrations and breaking the suspension cables. One cable-break causes cascading effect for the entire bridge to come down. Remember childhood science classes - why do soldiers break-taal while crossing bridges? 

Rescuers Searched for Survivors at Night. On Monday (30.10.2022), a dozen boats with members of the national and state disaster response teams searched for survivors while divers from the Indian navy were on standby, reported BBC Gujarati's Roxy Gagdekar at the scene. Four cranes were deployed to pull out the 

bridge wreckage and rescuers looked for bodies trapped underneath. Distressed relatives searched for their loved ones and as the hours passed, their desperation grew. After the incident, dozens were seen clinging onto the wreckage as emergency teams attempted to rescue them. Some survivors clambered up the bridge's 
broken netting, and others managed to swim to the river banks. Early on Monday morning, rescuers made an opening in a small dam on the river, about 500 metres downstream, to reduce the water flow. The bridge above the dam was packed with people, waiting to hear news of their loved ones. 

Responsibilities of the Government, Administrative and Citizens. 

(a) The Gujrat Government is blaming the maintenance company, the easiest thing to do is make someone a scapegoat to wash their mismanagement in the public's eyes. It was re-opened without due approval, as Gujrat Government officials are stating. The question is, was the administration a sitting duck? Then there's a claim that 600 people were allowed on the bridge instead of 150, this was itself catastrophic. 

(b) Are we making our citizens responsible with the right education? One family shared that when they senses the vibration is unusual, they returned in spite of having the ticket and saved their life. Whether it was mentioned that only 100 people capacity is there. If yes, can we ourselves refrain from exceeding it? 

(c) No safety or design audit post repairs. Civil structures rarely get safety-audited. There's no agency for it. 
Us Indians have a short memory, there will be a hue and cry for a few days and then we will forget till the next mishap occurs. Definitely ropes of this more than century-old bridge must not have been changed - only cosmetic changes must have been made by painting. None must have tested the ropes with NDT either - deep-down corrosion must have reduced the load-bearing strength of the suspension ropes. 

(d) As per the unconfirmed reports coming, the contract was awarded to a watch company on a nomination basis that subcontracted to a small engineering firm. One can well imagine the type of renovation expected from this process where a fitness certificate was not obtained. Only a reputed construction company with a good track record should have handled this type of project. 

(e) It has been noticed that wires are rusted. The stays which prevent overturning were missing. The cross 
bracings which provide strength to the deck slab are also missing. The work is done under the supervision of Municipal Engineers not qualified in bridge engineering. The contractor was not qualified for such type of bridge repair 

On one side Engineers have built the world's tallest rail bridge over Chenab at Pamban, Kashmir as an Engineering marvel. At the same time, Engineers made a blunder in Mobri bridge that cost more than 141 life is a shameful act to our fraternity. We need to be more careful and vigilant at all times. Loss of even a single life is unacceptable. Competency in our profession and social responsibilities are very important. 

Report from...
Structural Civil Engineer 

Window Grill Fabrication Work - Standard Operating Procedure


This standard operating procedure enumerates the scope of Fabrication work to be executed    in Tower area as specified in the approved drawings and at places when instructed by the Tower-in-charge.


The respective Tower-in-charge is responsible to execute the work as per procedure.

Safety & protection:

PPEs like safety belts at height, helmets, safety goggles, ear plugs and hand gloves etc. should be used properly. 
Ensure the working area is kept clean for easy access.
Proper illumination to be provided during the work, if required.
Educate the workmen through pep-talk meeting. 
Window Grill:
Preparatory Work:  

Do check grills received for fixing are as per approved drawing and specification.
Do check filing of welded joints, welding burr and voids at joint should not be visible.
Powder coating should have a smooth finish and no marks of grinding should be visible on it.
Internal members of grill (round bars) should be in straight line and it should be placed neatly in the holes of main frame with tight joints from inside visible area and it should be tack welded from external face.
Grill should not have additional or extra holes other than specified on its main frame.
Check the opening dimension of jamb where grill to be fitted, place the grill in position and use bush of specified size, do align it to correct alignment and mark the points on jamb where drilling to be done.
Drill the holes at mark location as per the depth of SS screw which will go inside of it and put rawl plugs inside of it. Holes should be made perfectly perpendicular to jamb face to ensure screwing correctly and flat had of screw sits fully on top of main frame.
In case while drilling holes if sill is damaged, then first replace the sill and again drill new holes on it.
Position the grill in place and check its alignment.
Drill the 3 long SS screw through the hole and ensure its flat head is fully in contact with main frame.
After installation check for its alignment and do check for any visible damages on it.