The importance of maintenance of any infrastructure to keep it in serviceable condition during its entire service life needs no emphasis. In fact the huge cost invested in creating the infrastructure loses its significance and becomes irrelevant if due attention is not given towards its regular maintenance.
The accident on August 3, 2016 that saw 14 dead and 18 missing when two buses and a number of cars plunged into the overflowing Savitri river due to a bridge collapse in Mahad on the Mumbai-Goa Highway in Western Maharashtra is a stark reminder of the fact that roads and bridges in India are indeed in a deplorable state with an urgent need for a complete makeover.
Keeping this in mind the Ministry of Road, Transport & Highways (MoRTH) established an organization called the Indian Bridge Management System (IBMS).
This project is just one year old and is moving to be the world’s single largest bridge database owned by a single owner with an inventory of over 1,20,000 bridges and culverts. MoRTH has already announced a flagship project ‘Setu Bharatam’ which envisages an investment of over Rs 50,000 crore for construction of over 250 rail over bridges as also rehabilitation / retrofitting / replacement of over 1,500 bridges on national highways.
State governments have also been urged to join IBMS program. This will facilitate every state government to allocate appropriate level of funds for rehab / retrofit / replacement of bridges. The overall outlay for such a planned initiative is expected to be over Rs100,000 crore keeping in mind the financial constraints of various states.
Our main story looks at how the nation looks microscopically at the state of the bridges in India. This should open up more opportunities for the coatings and corrosion mitigation industries in the form of more job works, introduction of innovative products and training programs for bridge inspectors.
Besides, the issue has its regular reads like product profiles, company profiles, new products and processes, etc.
Let me take this opportunity to wish you a happy and prosperous year ahead!!!