Mumbai Postpones Bridge Girder Installation Amid Record-Breaking Heatwave

The BMC postpones critical bridge girder installation in Mumbai due to a severe heatwave, highlighting the impact of extreme weather on infrastructure projects and the need for climate adaptation.

Rafia Tasleem
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Mumbai Postpones Bridge Girder Installation  Amid Record-Breaking Heatwave

Mumbai Postpones Bridge Girder Installation Amid Record-Breaking Heatwave

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has announced a one-week postponement of the installation of a critical 'bow-string' bridge girder connecting the Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL) to the Mumbai Coastal Road. The decision comes as Mumbai struggles with a severe heatwave, with temperatures soaring to 39.7°C on April 16, 2024, marking the highest recorded temperature in the city in over a decade.

The prefabricated girders, originally scheduled for installation on April 18-19, will now be launched around April 25-26 due to the prevailing extreme weather conditions. Heightened dust levels, volatile wind patterns, and tidal fluctuations have raised concerns about the safety of the operation, prompting authorities to reschedule the launch.

The girders, essential components of the ₹13,000 crore Coastal Road Project, are being transported from Nhava Jetty in Navi Mumbai to the launch site in Worli, where they will be anchored on a barrage in the Arabian Sea. The project aims to establish a 10.58-km-long high-speed corridor from BWSL to Marine Drive, with the girder installation marking the completion of the initial phase.

Despite challenges posed by shallow waters and thin bedrock density in Worli, authorities remain committed to the project's completion. The Coastal Road is currently operating within restricted hours, with officials targeting full operational status by the end of May.

Why this matters: The postponement of the bridge girder installation highlights the impact of extreme weather events on critical infrastructure projects in Mumbai. As the city faces increasing challenges due to climate change, it is crucial for authorities to adapt and prioritize the safety of workers and the public during such endeavors.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a yellow alert for Mumbai, Thane, and Raigad, forecasting hot and humid conditions in the region for the next few days. The high humidity levels, attributed to westerly winds bringing moisture from the Arabian Sea, are contributing to the discomfort experienced by citizens, even as temperatures remain in the range of 34-35 degrees Celsius.

In response to the heatwave, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has taken proactive measures to protect workers involved in key projects. These steps include providing rest sheds, cool drinking water, oral rehydration salts (ORS), and regular doctor visits at construction sites. Contractors have been directed to avoid outdoor work during peak heat hours, provide personal protective equipment, and implement emergency response plans to address heat-related emergencies.

As Mumbai continues to battle the intense heatwave, the postponement of the bridge girder installation serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by the city in balancing infrastructure development with the safety and well-being of its citizens. Authorities remain vigilant in monitoring weather conditions and implementing necessary precautions to ensure the successful completion of the Coastal Road Project while prioritizing the health and safety of all involved.

Key Takeaways

  • BMC postpones critical bridge girder installation due to severe heatwave in Mumbai.
  • Temperatures hit 39.7°C, highest in over a decade, delaying Coastal Road Project work.
  • Authorities cite safety concerns due to extreme weather conditions, dust, and tidal fluctuations.
  • MMRDA takes measures to protect workers, including rest sheds, water, and medical care.
  • Postponement highlights challenges of infrastructure development amid climate change impacts.