The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has completed a safety audit of 1.6 lakh bridges across the country and declared 147 of them as ‘dilapidated’. The audit was conducted under the Integrated Bridge Management System (IBMS), a Rs 300 crore mapping platform for the country’s bridges that was launched in 2016. Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said that modern technology such as sensors, radars and drones would be used to create the country’s first mapping system for bridges, many of which were built by the British and on the verge of collapse.
The IBMS has mapped 1,60,186 structures in its first phase which includes 1.2 lakh culverts. The three-year long project is divided into 18 packages for implementation and includes data such as a national identity number, longitude and latitude, classifications of the road and socio-economic details of the area. Prior to this, there was no such data available and companies such as Bharat Heavy Electronics Limited (BHEL) had to incur costs of up to Rs 50 lakh each time to obtain such data.
The data collected includes a structural rating, a socio-economic bridge rating which is determined by how much the bridge is used and the people who use it. Each bridge is given a unique identifier – the national identification number, and whether it is part of a district road, state highway or national highway. The location of the bridge is registered using GPS, after which its features such as width, lane configuration, length, age, load-bearing capacity, and others are collated.
After all the data is collected, the bridge is given a final rating between 0 and 9.
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