Bridge Failures Man-made Disasters -"Health Assessment & Evaluation of Bridges on Roads, Railways & Metros" on 23rd to 25th June, 2021 from 03:00 PM to 05:00 PM

Bridge failures are extremely devastating occurrences that could lead to loss of life, property damage and above all, loss of transport communication link. These failures can occur due to various factors like floods, unexpected events occurring over and around the bridges, accidents, construction and design flaws and manufacturing errors, fires, earthquakes etc. Most of these factors leading to failures are caused by human lapses, besides natureís wrath. In order to contain the damage as best as practicable, it is essential to conduct bridge health assessment regularly and to provide health evaluation reports so that concerned owners are able to take prompt remedial measures and such failures could be avoided and the damages and losses are minimised.

Construction Industry Development Council (CIDC) and International Council of Consultants, the two apex bodies of contractors and consultants, have jointly taken up the cause of health assessment of bridges in the country since 2019.

Construction Industry Development Council (CIDC) was established jointly by five Union Ministries including Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Urban Development, Railways & Defence with the Planning Commission as the lead Ministry, to help promote efficient methods, technology, management and skill development in order to develop and implement world class projects within least time and at least cost. CIDCís notable work has been enabling over 4 lac youth and artisans to find employment in the Construction Industry through skill development. CIDC has also undertaken several other initiatives to develop and upgrade the industry including setting up & promotion of organisations for Dispute Resolution, High Technology etc. for Construction Sector.

International Council of Consultants (ICC), as the apex representative organization of consultancy services was constituted under the patronage of Former Chief Justice of India Mr. Y.V. Chandrachud and several other senior luminaries from engineering profession. Dr. P. R. Swarup, Director General, CIDC is presently the President of ICC and the Governing Council of ICC has representation from several important professional organizations. The specialized role of Consultants is increasingly playing a more significant part in an economy.

Track records of health assessment and evaluation of some of the bridges, during the pre-corona period are very complex. There are a number of bridges which have been designated as weak or need for reconstruction or rehabilitation is established. At the same time, there are several bridge structures, serving roads, metros, and railways, that are providing remarkable services and are protected through appropriate health assessment and health evaluation and reporting systems. Need of the hour is collect details of the processes and systems followed by the owners of such structures and to evolve a master system with the contribution of all other bridge owners, consultants, engineers, for replication and prevention of disasters. In addition, other stakeholders like NDMA, SDMA, and nominees of NDRF & SDRF must also be sensitized so that they could apply such good practices in disaster management activities for maintaining transport communication in order to reduce the impact of disasters.

In the current scenario when the nation is in the grip of the second wave of COVID with a large extent of employees of infrastructure companies, metros, and railways are facing the threat of corona infections such capacity creation assumes more significance since the same structures are being used to transport critical medicines and equipment/tanks within the nation. Any disruption or delays in the services due to bridge failures could cost much to the nation and therefore must be prevented.

Information about such efficient systems could be assimilated through the deliberation of the panel of domain specific specialists, who are successfully handling these matters in Ministry of Road Transport and Highways National Highways Authority of India, Indian Railways, Central Road Research Institute and other similar organizations. For dissemination of the information about such good practices and to prepare a blue print of Action Plan of Health Assessment of Bridges in the country, an online conference could be organized with the participation of the nominees of all the stakeholders.

Topics to be deliberated in the conference should include:

Bridge Maintenance Processes
Bridge Structural Health Checking Systems
Application Of Health Information In The Field Operations
Installed Health Diagnostic Systems On Bridges
Bridge Inspections & Documentation Processes
Efficacy Of Deployed Equipment And Operating Systems
Systematic Approach For Retrieval Of Structural Health Information From The Inspection Reports
Technical Capabilities Of Executing Agencies, Project Advisors And Consultants, And Determination of Respective Skill Gaps
Competence Levels Of Professionals, Supervisors, And Workers And Determination Of Respective Skill Gaps
Proposal Of CIDC - ICC For Health Assessment & Health Evaluation Of Road, Metro And Railway Bridges

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