IVRCL Limited, the Hyderabad-based company that is constructing the Kolkata flyover, a portion of which collapsed on Thursday, is yet to ascertain the cause for the collapse, A.G.K. Murthy, Director (Operations), has said. “It is for the first time in the history of the company that such an incident has occurred. We are unable to comprehend at this stage what could have happened. It is beyond our thinking. It is like an act of god," he told The Media in Hyderabad.
Mr. Murthy said the standard operating procedure had been followed, and the company had completed 76-78 per cent of the work without any untoward incident. Mr. Murthy said IVRCL Chairman and Managing Director E. Sudhir Reddy was travelling and that he was not aware of his whereabouts. Seven employees of the company were injured in the incident.
The flyover at Burra Bazar, estimated to cost Rs. 166 crore, was to have been completed in 18 months. Work was delayed owing to lack of clearances because the area was “very crowded," Mr. Murthy said. The BSE has sought a clarification from the company. In its reply to the BSE, IVRCL said the Vivekananda flyover had been designed by a reputed consultant from Kolkata. All clearances and steps to ensure quality had been taken, the company said.
However, experts said an under-construction structure usually collapses due to design error or flaws in welding that leave cracks, causing the structure to collapse under the dead weight of the concrete. Dead weight is the weight of the structure without its programmed load.