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Old 30th August 2011, 12:56   #1
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Default Pitiful state of Mahatma Gandhi Setu

Starting a new thread as i could not find any other one.

The vast network of roads in our country is expanding with every passing hour,at few places on ground and at some places on paper.Most of the rivers have been spanned by bridges across them and some of the bridges are mighty enough.There is one such bridge on NH19 connecting Patna and Hajipur named the Mahatma Gandhi setu.It is one of the longest river bridges of the world.( Mahatma Gandhi Setu - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia )
What i want to draw the attention to is the state of neglect this bridge has been subjected to.There has not been any major work done on the maintenance aspect of this bridge for a long time.Such is the condition that the latest suggestions as given by the State Govt was either to change the superstructure or construct a parallel bridge alongside this one.
In its early days,it used to take little less than 5 minutes to cross it,now it can take anywhere between half an hour to 1 hour.The situation gets worsened if there is any vehicle breakdown or accident.Out of the 2 carriageways,only 1 is full functional and the other one is used only in patches.The span junctions have sagged,so much so that at one location,the difference is more than 2 feet!There is a constant speed restriction of 20kmph and overtaking is not allowed.If one looks closely,the bridge shakes a lot.For last many years,i've seen the bridge under some or other repair.Some snaps and a video for the necessary info.


Mods-Please move the thread to appropriate section if required.


(sorry for the audio)

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Old 31st August 2011, 00:13   #2
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Default Re: Pitiful state of Mahatma Gandhi Setu

I had once used this bridge back in 2009 and the state was just as shabby that time, crossing it easily took over 20 mins if I remember correctly thanks to the massive traffic jam. It should be made a criminal offense to charge toll for using a bridge in such a dilapidated state :|
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Old 31st August 2011, 10:09   #3
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Default Re: Pitiful state of Mahatma Gandhi Setu

Quote:
Originally Posted by singhsid View Post
I had once used this bridge back in 2009 and the state was just as shabby that time, crossing it easily took over 20 mins if I remember correctly thanks to the massive traffic jam. It should be made a criminal offense to charge toll for using a bridge in such a dilapidated state :|
Traffic jams are are rare these days as one is not allowed to overtake even in 2 lane carriage way.The problem is that if you get stuck behind the fastest moving vehicle on the Indian highways(read loaded Tractor with trolley),then all you can do is curse your luck.As far as toll booth is concerned,its one of the most haphazard places one can come across.(pic added)If you try to stick to you lane,you'll be bullied by the reckless buses.The toll is Rs10 but after crossing that stretch,you feel like that the toll people should pay you back for risking your life.

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Old 31st August 2011, 10:45   #4
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Default Re: Pitiful state of Mahatma Gandhi Setu

Bone collector,
Thanks for starting this thread.

It's a piece of history and a major lifeline of Bihar that has been neglected over the years due to bad politics.

While I will not spare the State Govt. of it's responsibilities, but as I read in the newspaper , it's mostly the fault of Central Govt.

While Centre & NHAI has the responsibility for maintaining all the National Highways of the Country including the NH19, the centre ambiguously chose to exclude the MG Setu from it's responsibilities earlier.

But after a lot of repeated request and pleading from the Bihar Govt,the centre has finally agreed to redo the MG setu. I read that the complete bridge would be dismantled and redone. But I fail to understand how will they manage the traffic. But with the pics you have posted, it seems that some work is already under process and that they would do the complete bridge by rebuilding one carriageway at a time.

Though I am from Patna, I have never had a chance to visit that side of Bihar, so , have never taken the bridge.

Posting some links here for further reading of the fellow members, if they wish to with the most recent one at the top.

NHAI to dismantle, redo Gandhi Setu - The Times of India

Steps to ease traffic snarls on Gandhi setu - The Times of India

Control room eases traffic flow on Gandhi Setu - The Times of India

Bihar blames Centre for Gandhi Setu's condition - The Times of India

Centre's apathy stalls Gandhi Setu repairs - The Times of India
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Old 31st August 2011, 12:31   #5
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Default Re: Pitiful state of Mahatma Gandhi Setu

Well,i'll also keep the politics aside but out of the two ideas suggested,the one of completely dismantling the superstructure and redoing it has been rejected as the debris would fall into the river and pose a hazard to environment.Moreover,Patna is on National Waterway 1( National Waterway No. 1 : Inland Waterways Authority of India ) so it would pose a great difficulty.
There is a Rail-Road bridge being constructed near Patna but that would increase the distances from North Bihar.( The Hindu : News / National : Bridge over river Ganga would be nation’s pride ).
Another bridge has been planned between Samastipur and Patna.( Steps taken for new bridge over Ganga in Samastipur dist - Times Of India ).That might resolve the issue.
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Old 1st September 2011, 09:16   #6
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Default Re: Pitiful state of Mahatma Gandhi Setu

Is dismantling the bridge really an option? I've heard that this is a fairly busy route, are there any convenient alternates?
Bihar took two steps back during the lost years (I guess early 1990s to mid 2000s) but I've also heard that the current government is pretty active in building infrastructure in order to kick off economic activity in the state. BoneCollector, perhaps you can comment on this? Maybe you'll get to zoom on a renovated MG setu in the near future
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Old 1st September 2011, 13:41   #7
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Default Re: Pitiful state of Mahatma Gandhi Setu

Quote:
Originally Posted by singhsid View Post
Is dismantling the bridge really an option? I've heard that this is a fairly busy route, are there any convenient alternates?
Bihar took two steps back during the lost years (I guess early 1990s to mid 2000s) but I've also heard that the current government is pretty active in building infrastructure in order to kick off economic activity in the state. BoneCollector, perhaps you can comment on this? Maybe you'll get to zoom on a renovated MG setu in the near future
As of now,there are plans of 3 bridges across the Ganges,2 are mentioned in my last post and what i had read in newspaper was about another one connecting Chhapra and Arrah.But no concrete evidence i have.MG setu will take a long time to get overhauled,the engineers are still mulling over the process.Moreover,as you rightly said,its a pathetically busy stretch.Actually its a cantilever bridge,and each span is hanging balanced on a single pillar.One option that was mentioned was to dismantle superstructure and put the spans across 2 pillars.I'll try to make a rough drawing for the same.Will keep all posted about any details.As far as the current govt is concerned,yes they are really serious about on ground development rather than on paper development.I request my engineer BHPians to have a look and see.
(I'm not a computer wizard but a lizard.That was the best i could draw.)
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Old 19th September 2011, 15:09   #8
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Default Update on state of Mahatma Gandhi Setu

It seems there has been some structural damage as this will be the first time when the traffic is being suspended on the bridge for repairs(pre-stressing).


Steps for smooth traffic during Gandhi Setu repair - The Times of India
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Old 6th May 2012, 08:11   #9
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This snap is from today's Times of India Patna edition showing the actual gap between the 2 damaged spans.The other side of Ganges can be seen.This is real sad state of affair.

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Old 8th October 2013, 07:55   #10
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Recent updates on this bridge. Its undergoing a massive overhaul except for the portion where it has sagged. I have no clue regarding the plan for that stretch.

Mods, I'm unable to attach any snaps. After reaching 100% the app just gets back to writing screen without attaching any snap. I'm using Android app.
Now after posting this message I saw a single snap attached. There is some issue with the app. And I have already mentioned it so many times. Problem cannot be my phone as i've changed it and using new phone for posting it.

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Note from Support: Your images are being uploaded. You can view them on a computer. You cannot view them on your android app as they haven't been "Inserted" into the post using the tiny paper-clip icon in the post-edit menu.

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Old 8th October 2013, 12:03   #11
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Default Re: Pitiful state of Mahatma Gandhi Setu

A video I took of the Setu in May 2010. It was clear even to me that the bridge is not going to hold for long.

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Old 8th October 2013, 12:27   #12
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Default Re: Pitiful state of Mahatma Gandhi Setu

Thanks for the thread.
I crossed this bridge about 2 years ago in my car which took about half an hour (up) and about 1.5 hours on my down trip; thanks to the massive traffic jams. I saw that it is the accepted norm for the two wheelers to drag their bikes on the pedestrian path of the bridge and ride there.

I would like to ask a question about what I saw from the people who know about this bridge better than me. I saw that the road was like slabs put together which had metal teeth like structure geared in the adjacent slab as shown in the still in the post just before this one. Now when a heavy vehicle crossed from one such slab to another, the entire road platform would swing up & down which was scary to say the least. Is that the way the bridge is designed technically (to absorb the impacts of heavy load) or is it the omen of the bridge failing?

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Old 8th October 2013, 14:05   #13
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The construction of the bridge was done using latest technology of that time but with time, that particular tech has been discarded for better and cheaper methods. The gaps between the spans have metal teeth so as to allow for expansion and compression during different seasons. But with overloaded trucks plying in it unabated, the spans now swing up and down with the fulcrum at ball joint on pillars. To prevent overtaking and bikers from clambering over the footpath, hollow metallic rods have been put onto the bridge. Will try to attach snaps if possible.

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Old 21st June 2014, 10:42   #14
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Just crossed Mahatama Gandhi setu. The span in question that had sagged is being removed piece meal. They've already removed about 25% of it. Could not take a snap as its been barricaded. Will try to take it during next crossing. Two spans next to it has also started sagging and the traffic has been suspended on that stretch. God knows when will this problem be solved. Till then, can only pray that the bridge doesnt collapse.
As of today, no trucks with 10 or more wheels are allowed on it. Earlier the limit was 14 & above wheels. So only 6 wheelers are allowed.

Last edited by BoneCollector : 21st June 2014 at 10:44.
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Old 3rd July 2014, 10:51   #15
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While coming back, I was able to take a video and am attaching screenshots here. Its not that clear. Will be again travelling to the other side next week. Will try to take more snaps.

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