New Delhi, Dec 20: A Parliamentary Committee has expressed dissatisfaction over the failure of the Railway Ministry to expedite the work on bridge management system which is yet to be commissioned even after a lapse of 11 years.
In a report submitted in Parliament earlier this week, the PAC observed that 710 bridges remained to be completed as on March 2014, even after expiry of prescribed timelines.
The Committee recommended the Ministry to set timelines with effective planning and monitoring.
The Committee was not satisfied with the explanation offered in this regard that depending upon the quantum of work involved, bridge rehabilitation may take from few months up to few years and sometime delay occurs due to complexities of the work involved, which are beyond the control of Railway administration.
The 22-member Committee is chaired by Congress floor leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and has 15 members from the Lower House and seven from the Upper House.
The report said, 'Upon noticing that out of 42 bridges found to have become due for reconstruction within their codal life, 37 of them were located in South Western Region alone, the Committee had urged that the matter may be inquired into and action taken against the officers responsible for the lapse.'
It also desired that construction companies who fail to ensure good quality work or colluded with contractors be punished in an exemplary manner.
It expressed unhappiness that the Railways has failed to set timelines for the execution and completion of bridge works.
The Committee would like Railways to address the matter seriously and take necessary effective measures to ensure that the system is commissioned without further delay.
As Bridge Management System will help Railways in keeping track of all kinds of maintenance and inspection issues related to railway bridges, the Committee emphasised the need for making the BMS system fully operational within six months of the presentation of the report.
It recommended the Railways to set timelines for the execution and completion of bridge works with effective planning and proper monitoring so as to ensure that safety of human lives is not compromised and railway assets protected.
The Committee desired that keeping in view the safety of passengers, technically obsolete bridges need to be replaced in a time-bound manner at the earliest. (UNI)