Collapse

By Somali K Chakrabarti

mumbai-goa-highway-bridge-collapse

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On a pitch dark night
From far, a mechanic spots
Speeding buses, disappearing lights.
The raging river washes away
Chunks of an old river bridge
On the highway;
He raises an alarm-
Next day, the accident, lost lives
become a part of the news print.
A freak  incident  –
Or may be an audit lapse;
A failure to foretell the imminent collapse
of a decrepit bridge in heavy rains!
Individual valour saved many a lives
where a part of the system took a nosedive!

 

 

© Somali K Chakrabarti

 

 

A bridge on the Mumbai Goa highway collapsed on the 2nd of August, resulting in three buses and some cars falling into the river in the middle. Two workers Basant Kumar and Surjeet, who live near the bridge raised an alarm and saved further accidents when they saw from their window,  three sets of headlights disappear from above the bridge.  The irony is that the structure, constructed in 1927 , during the British Era was declared as structurally safe in an audit conducted in May.

 

 

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28 thoughts on “Collapse

  • August 4, 2016 at 2:23 pm
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    Very thoughtful provoking issue on the safety of common people travelling. …I think it’s high time for the authorities to wake up …

    Reply
  • August 4, 2016 at 3:34 pm
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    That is such an unfortunate accident, Somali. So sad. That bridge certainly looks strong and might have been, but sometimes things happen. Good to hear there is good in the world with bystanders raising the alarm, and hopefully now the bridge and area around it is cordoned off.

    Reply
    • August 6, 2016 at 8:51 pm
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      Thank you Mabel. Yes the area is cordoned off. The point is that heavy traffic should not be allowed on such old bridges.

      Reply
  • August 4, 2016 at 5:45 pm
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    Very aptly written in today’s strange world where catastrophes don’t seem to just warn they simply occur at rapid speed with devastating effects. The rlements of nature seem to be taking their revenge. Be it water, fire, air et al

    Reply
    • August 6, 2016 at 8:52 pm
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      Exactly Reshma. Accidents donlt come with a forewarning. That’s why it is all the more important not to have a callous attitude towards safety.

      Reply
  • August 4, 2016 at 7:27 pm
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    The callous attitude as always by the civic authorities who do not consider human lives as precious..the order of the day in every part of India during the monsoons. I was surprised to see motorists still using the other part of the bridge dangling throwing caution to the winds in this particular man made disaster..very apt verses Somali..

    Reply
  • August 5, 2016 at 9:31 am
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    So sad! Who cares? Human lives are precious only for our own families while those on high pedestals are busy making their own dough. This year monsoons have been quite ruthless but man himself is responsible for the fury of Mother Nature.
    Thanks for highlighting the issue.

    Reply
    • August 6, 2016 at 8:59 pm
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      Yes Balroop. It hits hard people who lose their near and dear ones otherwise these become figures in the newspapers, and the status quo continues.

      Reply
  • August 5, 2016 at 10:23 am
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    Sad news.Nature’s fury does not lend itself to slide rule evaluations.Human audit is subject to limitations and not always infallible.
    The poem brings out grimness of the tragedy.

    Reply
    • August 6, 2016 at 9:01 pm
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      Yes, sir human audit is subject to limitations, but in so many areas we see the safety norms being flouted because there is no other provision to handle the traffic.

      Reply
  • August 5, 2016 at 4:03 pm
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    You were able to announce this tragedy with grace and respect. My heart and well wishes go out to the victims and their families. <3

    Reply
    • August 6, 2016 at 9:07 pm
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      Thank you Poet. Prayers for those who lost their lives and their families. Hope our authorities take cognisance of the need for better safety and maintenance of roads and bridges.

      Reply
  • August 6, 2016 at 2:32 am
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    It was an unfortunate incident. It’s difficult to predict the strength of the pillars under water. Government should stop permitting heavy vehicles on all shallow British era bridges to avoid any such accidents in future.
    My prayers and feelings go out to the victims and their families.

    Reply
    • August 6, 2016 at 9:04 pm
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      Exactly sir, the culverts and bridges from the British era are too old to be subjected to heavy vehicular traffic.

      Reply
  • August 11, 2016 at 5:27 pm
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    Such a tragic event and I am pleased the action of others brought about less loss of life.. So many bridges are crumbling ( here too in the UK old bridges collapsing due to the amount of rain fall and flooded rivers..)
    And more and more I hear how safety is put second, simply because it is not cost effective to follow out routine checks or do repairs..
    I had not heard of this sad event here in the UK.. My heart goes out to all families caught up within its tragedy..
    <3 xxx Sue

    Reply

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