Indian Railways undertakes a massive 3rd Party audit of its Bridges

Indian Railways has a vast network of 1,50,390 bridges on its tracks across the country.  In addition, 3449 nos of Road Over Bridges (ROBs) have been provided to facilitate the public to cross the tracks on roads.  For passenger / pedestrian crossing, 3771 nos. of FOBs are provided by Railways for convenience of public/rail users, as on 01.04.2020.

Indian Railways follows a well established system of annual inspection and maintenance of railway bridges/ROBs/FOBs by the designated railway officials as per the laid down schedule. To establish more confidence and reliability on the existing infrastructure, in 2018 it was decided in 2018 to carryout third party audit of identified and critical bridges/ROBs/FOBs to have an independent expert view on the condition of the bridge. The objective of 3rd party inspection by expert agencies was to have Bird’s eye view of condition of critical components which may have been adversely affected in corrosion prone areas.

3rd party audit of critical bridges/ROBs/FOBs is being done by Expert agencies like IITs, NITs, SERC etc. Zonal railways were advised to carry out one time third party technical audit of the bridges duly checking all aspects of the bridge (strength assessment including NDT testing, , design adequacy for present day loading, physical condition etc. as considered necessary) by engaging expert national/international agencies.  The third party audit of the bridges were undertaken as per the following priority:

  1. All mega bridges, Railway Bridges with ORN 1 ratings, ROBs & FOBs.
  2. Railway Bridges with ORN 2 ratings and bridges with speed restrictions.
  3. All important bridges more than 80 yrs old.
  4. Any other bridge which railway consider critical from condition point of view.

Major benefits of 3rd party audit was realised in Mumbai area where dilapidated conditions were noticed in 49 ROBs. Essential repairs were carried out in 43 ROBs and 6 ROBs were closed, dismantled and their rebuilding is under progress.

Simultaneously, dilapidated condition was noticed in 127 FOBs. Essential repairs were carried out in 95 FOBs and 32 FOBs were closed & dismantled for replacement.  Rebuilding work has been completed in 20 FOBs and 12 FOBs are in progress.

Out of total identified 1107 bridges/ROBs/FOBs, 3rd party audit of 815 bridges/ROBs/FOBs has been completed and balance works are in progress. To make the entire system transparent, Boards have been provided at all ROBs and FOBs.  In respect of railway bridges, boards have been provided at the stations (for next block section in increasing Km) at suitable locations on main platform.

To further increase the transparency among users and to establish reliability of railway’s infrastructure, the photographs of boards at ROBs/FOBs and at stations have been uploaded on web based Indian Railways Bridge Management System (IRBMS) which is linked to rail drishti and the photographs of boards can be seen by any person through the site @ http://www.raildrishti.in by following the path:- Main Contents → Performance indicator → Bridge Inspection → Inspection Board photographs.

The photographs can also be accessed by Railway officials on edrishti website http://www.edrishti.cris.org.in→ Operations → Bridge Inspection → Inspection Board photographs.

Various field units have so far uploaded 10363 photographs on IRBMS site against the scope of 11600 photographs.