Breaking News: Part of Shershah Bridge Collapsed.

A major Part of the shershah bridge which was inaugurated 15 days less than a month ago (7th of August 2007) by General Pervaiz Musharraf has collapsed. A public bus “Ilyaas Coach ” and another public bus G3 is reported to be crushed under the ruble along with a few more cars. It is also reported by Aaj tv that when the hammers were used to remove the cars from the rubble the bridge running parallel to it started to swing as well so the hammering had to be stopped.

Some eye witness on dawn news told dawn that several cars, pushcart venders were under the bride when at around 1:15 pm when the bridge collapsed.

According to Aaj News the bridge was constructed by the National Construction Authority with an amount of 245 million rupees.

Dawn News just confirms it was National Highway Authority responsible for the construction of this bridge.

According to Dawn News The bridge was constructed by National logistic cell under National Highway Authority with an amount of 3.5 billion rupees. Till now 5 people are confirmed dead while countless trapped under the rubble are unaccounted for.

The news is still unfolding.

140 Comments so far

  1. no one (unregistered) on September 2nd, 2007 @ 6:11 pm

    @Jamal Shamsi
    do a little search on both .. check wiki for detail and then come and ask the same question again. I will tell you then.

  2. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on September 2nd, 2007 @ 8:29 pm

    Sattar bai ka naya rona.

    Ab MQM ne dekha k deal bhe nakam hogaye aur Abu Jan(Musharraf) ki Nao doobney wali hay aur dosri taraf bibi aur mian bhe ghas nai daal rahay. Imran ka tu pocho he nahi, wo BAI ko kala pani bhejwa kar he dam leyga.

    Sattar bhai forun munnay ban gaye k MQM ka koi qasoor nai, wo tu Gardish-e-Halat ne humay aisa banadia warna Admi hum bhe baray kaam k thay

  3. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on September 2nd, 2007 @ 8:35 pm

    Karachiite gives 100% of revenue regardless of how much is distributed to others. For Karachiites, “Tax” exists in different forms. Different communities and institutes suck it by using different names.

    GOvernment takes it in the name of Revenue and welfare.

    MQM takes in the name of “Bhatta”.

    Police takes in the name of “Challan” or “Bakhsish”.

    If godforbid you have to deal with govt officials, you have to give it in the name of “chai pani” or “mithai”.

    Opportunities are endless. Sky is the only limit.

  4. d0ct0r (unregistered) on September 2nd, 2007 @ 8:39 pm

    Revenue = “For government, revenues refers to the gross proceeds received from taxes, fees, and the like.”

    Tax= “A tax is a financial charge or other levy imposed on an individual or a legal entity by a state”

    are you and Balma same person?

  5. d0ct0r (unregistered) on September 2nd, 2007 @ 8:42 pm

    besides giving government officials to get your legal work done, you’ve to pay Khidmat Khalq Foundation (KKF) so called welfare wing of MQM..

  6. balma (unregistered) on September 3rd, 2007 @ 12:10 am

    Ni Siree Boob, koee bhi balma kaa nem-ul-badal nahi’n ho saktaa!

    It is a very few people who pay taxes in Pakistan and Karachi so this tax payers money argument is BS.

    Second, more you hire people on quota system, more of this will happen. This quota system for last 40 years hsa ruined Pakistan. PIA is a risk to fly on, same is Pak Railways. Keep on hiring based on quota, and keep risking your life guys.

  7. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on September 3rd, 2007 @ 1:02 am

    yes Akram’s here.

    I have a theory that Akram is former sector Incharge who was kiked out from Tanzeem before he gave Rs.5 less to Altaf bai and this corruption was not tolerated by Altaf bhai because MQM is a corruption free party.

  8. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on September 3rd, 2007 @ 1:08 am

    @Mohammed Akram – abay ANDHAY, aqal aur ankh kay dondo kay andhay, last faraz namaz jamat kay sath kab parhi thee, Jhootay makkar,

    Andahay ko khawab nazar nahi atay, aur tum tou aqal aur ankh dono kay andahy ho khabees,

    Mohammed (PBUH) sai relate kartay ho apni bakwaas ko,

    nama qol gadhay insan, hosh karoo

  9. Concerned (unregistered) on September 3rd, 2007 @ 3:53 am

    I dont have time to read the entire blog, but for once please understand that the construstion of this bridge had absolutely nothing to do with MQM. Why do you ppl blame them for everything under the sun.

    Seriously have you guys ever thought abt using your own head for once, rather then beating tht same damn drum day in day out.

  10. Zeba (unregistered) on September 3rd, 2007 @ 3:47 pm

    sehba musharraf is pregnant,…………courtesy aamit liaquat hussain MQM

    arbab ghulam raheem caught red handed in park smoking marijuana supplied by MQM

    KESC failed to generate enough power for karachi, courtesy MQM,

    DHA failed to manage sewrage courtesy MQM,

    MQM na hoyee bhoot ho gaye har asmani sultani kam mai MQM zimaydar ho gai why are they so important to all of us

  11. Ali (unregistered) on September 3rd, 2007 @ 4:56 pm

    @ Doctor
    rasict crap ?
    M i talking about racism ???
    Bull shit man
    Racism is slapping Quota System on urdu speaking people so that these punjabi pathans with out merit get gov jobs.
    Why there is a Quota System ?
    Is Quota System not racism ??
    Till there is a Quota System till there are in justices against Urdu Speaking people i will be talking these things no matter u called me racist or anything else.

    MQM is a threat to not only the Wadera shahi mullahism but also the soo called urdu speaking elite who never faced anything like unemployment, social injustices and Quota System.
    They never get harassed by Punjabi Pathan Transporters nor their women are undressed on Banaras and Sohrab Goth nor they saw massacres of Ali Gerh Qazba and other localities.

    The whole Nation is barking about 12 may but what about 15 dec 1986 when 400 innocent men women children were massacred in a night ??
    This is racism if people like Doctor or Adnan Siddiqui who called them selves urdu speaks can’t raised voices against injustices on their own community they shouldn’t forget the fact that they are digging their own graves by sidelining them selves from their own race.
    Remember Lion the King of jungle only caught that deer that part his ways from its herd and time is quite near when you people will face the smae .

  12. IUnknown (unregistered) on September 3rd, 2007 @ 5:43 pm

    @ali, mqm is just a ghunda party than any thing else.

    u sound like pure mqm ghunda.
    mqm was made to work against ppp, long ago by agencies.
    how can u say that this kinda party is gonna work in welfare of ppl? (including urdu speaking :D)

    I dont know whether those 400 ppl were innocent as those who got “martyred” against pathans , when travelling to hyderabad. duh!!

    U R JUST PATHETIC THAN ANY THING ELSE. stop barking now , u racist crap.

  13. IUnknown (unregistered) on September 3rd, 2007 @ 5:47 pm

    mqm has done such bad things over the years the ppl just hate them.

    they dont care of urdu speaking or punjabi etc etc.

    they just do ghunda gardi. and since they are govt. for quite a while, and they dont know ne thing about how manage things, this misss managemenet is happening.

  14. Syed (unregistered) on September 3rd, 2007 @ 7:33 pm

    Why doctor wasn’t travelling on this bridge when it collapsed !!

  15. Syed (unregistered) on September 3rd, 2007 @ 7:33 pm

    Why doctor wasn’t travelling on this bridge when it collapsed !!

  16. Ali (unregistered) on September 3rd, 2007 @ 7:44 pm

    @ IUnknown
    MQM work for Karachi and we the urdu speaking LOVE MQM and Altaf Hussain.
    I guess you are blind or dont wana see how MMQ working day and night for the betterment of This City.

    As far as your cries concern that MQM was made by agencies against PPP, kindly tell me how much share PPP had in karachi policitcs before MQM ?
    how many seats PPP got in 1970 77 elections from karachi ?Urdu Speaks Hate PPP as they introduced Quota System they moved sindhi Language bill which were totally pathetic and based on racism.

    and you don’t know anything!!
    you said ”
    I dont know whether those 400 ppl were innocent as those who got “martyred” against pathans , when travelling to hyderabad. duh!!”

    sorry to say these 400 people matyred on 15 dec 1986 and they were not travelling from hyderabad, they were massacred because a sindhi speaking governer Ghous Ali shah made an operation on Pathans business(Illegal weapon and rug business) on Sohrab Goth and in return the pathsn massacred urdu speaks just to stop the operation.

    and as far as ur statement that i am barking, U know for yourself i am not barking, if im barking then you don’t have need to reply me.
    People here who are urdu speaks realised all what i wrote here and thats is causing pain to people like youu and you people coming to karachi to capture the jobs and business of urdu speaking people.

  17. Ali (unregistered) on September 3rd, 2007 @ 8:15 pm

    @ Doctor
    @Abdul Sami this bridge never existed even after Naimutullah khan was long gone.. it was recently built

    Dcotor i guess you are mad or you are a BIG LIER.

    Naimatullah took the Oath of Nazim Karachi in 2001 and Remain till 2005.
    Now To nothern Bypass.
    Started in 2002 and completed in 2007

    Why you lied soo much Doctor ???

  18. d0ct0r (unregistered) on September 3rd, 2007 @ 11:05 pm

    @Ali am talking about this specific bridge.. it is part of Northern Bypass.. i pass through that area almost every day and i didn’t saw this bridge until recently .. those who pass through shershah intersection towards expressway must have also noticed..

  19. D0ct0r (unregistered) on September 3rd, 2007 @ 11:27 pm

    obviously its tough time for MQM.. recent rains have ruined all the cosmetic development , PIDC fire scandal and now this bridge collapsing.. seems like nothing is going there way when elections are almost round the corner..

  20. D0ct0r (unregistered) on September 3rd, 2007 @ 11:31 pm

    @Syed had it collapsed at around 6:30 in the evening then certainly you and Altaf bai could have heaved a sigh of relief ;)

  21. Ali (unregistered) on September 4th, 2007 @ 3:12 am

    @ Doctor
    My Dear doctor !!!
    Was that bridge built by MQM ??
    was that bridge was not part of Nothern bypass? it was built seperately? OR only this bridge of nothern bypass was built by MQM ?
    There is no tough time for MQM doctor. as Karachi is much better then DHA the Posh locality of Karachi.
    Nothing has been ruined.
    Infact the badley effected roads were made in Naimat Ullah tenure especially University road.
    ANyways you are a big lier you saw that bridge recently but it was part of Nothern bypass that was started in Naimat Ullah tenure much before MQM minister took oath so nothing to do with MQM.

    You are much frustrated that you change the name of PNSC into PIDC and putting the blame of bridge collasping on MQM which has nothing to do with it and you are doing all that because you want to save the real culprits that are punjabi pathan mafia who are capturing Gov jobs just because of Quota System, and as these punjbi pathans are not capable of doing things the easiest way is to put blame on MQM.
    Good going Doctor keep going everyone here knows what is truth and what are lies by LIERS like you.


  22. d0ct0r (unregistered) on September 4th, 2007 @ 3:37 am

    @Ali let me rephrase and make it easier for u to understand “that bridge(which collapsed) didn’t existed during Naimutullah khan era”

    anyways kindly continue with your ethnic & racist crap.. even urdu speaking people are sick and tired of MQM and Altaf’s politics of ethnic hatred and division..

  23. d0ct0r (unregistered) on September 4th, 2007 @ 3:48 am

    its quite understandable that when ever any thing becomes controversial then MQM sidelines and completely disassociates it self from it..

  24. Ali (unregistered) on September 4th, 2007 @ 4:20 am

    to conclude i would say ..hum sab kharab hai .. its all over fault ..

  25. IUnknown (unregistered) on September 4th, 2007 @ 12:19 pm

    @ali, grow up buddy. grow up

  26. Ali (unregistered) on September 4th, 2007 @ 4:44 pm

    @ Doctor
    Doctor i asked you a simple question .
    Was that bridge not part of Nothern bypass?
    That bypass not started in Naimat Ullah Era ??
    When the contract of Bypass was awarded who was the Nazim of Karachi ??

    and about ethnic and racist crap.
    Till there are injustices Quotas against urdu speaking people i will be a soo called racist.

    Doctor till you are making baseless allegations against MQM im here to counter you and people like you who are basically Jamtis no matter what you say as you are putting blame on MQM of collapsed bridge that has nothing to do with MQM .
    come on grow up karachi is not a pind where you can simply said that bridge was made by MQM and people with closed eyes would beleive you .

  27. Ali (unregistered) on September 4th, 2007 @ 4:48 pm

    @ IUnknown
    i am trying to growup man you also tried to do so.
    Read some history of Karachi and Pakistan as you know nothing , you don’t know what happened in 1986 and you are making base less allegations.
    Come one Man read some history.
    Simple Question to you !!

    Why Muslim league faced humiliating defeat from Punjab in 1945 elections and why Punjabi’s gave anti Pakistan party Unionist party thumping victory.

  28. tariq (unregistered) on September 4th, 2007 @ 8:31 pm

    Why did the bridge fail?

    By By Roland deSouza
    The sudden collapse of a curved elevated section of the recently-inaugurated Karachi Northern Bypass (KNB) at the intersection of the RCD Highway and Central Avenue in SITE has sent tremors through the engineering community and the government construction industry. About ten people have died so far, and numerous vehicles (including a donkey) lie crushed in the debris of the structure.

    The question on everyone’s lips: Whose fault is it? This is difficult question to answer without a detailed investigation into the original design, the construction quality, the construction supervision record, the subsequent strengthening design, and many other factors. Can the government ensure that this is competently done without any cover-ups or concealments?

    Allegedly, about a year ago, the structure of the bridge tilted during construction. A decision was made not to dismantle and reconstruct, but to provide external reinforcement after jacking up the sagging portion. In hindsight, the decision may be questioned — but it was made at the time by supposedly responsible professionals with an ethical duty to public safety.

    At my request, a noted structural engineer involved in bridge designing posed some questions that need to be investigated in the forensic engineering analysis (see box).

    Of the various actors in the KNB drama (owner, consultant, contractor), two are military-run organisations. The National Highway Authority (NHA), the federal organisation that commissioned the 56-kilometre bypass is headed by Maj. General Imtiaz Ahmed as Chairman (although most of the project was done under the chairmanship of Maj. General Farrukh Jawed).

    The construction contractor is the National Logistics Cell (NLC), an organisation whose ‘Sarbarah’ is the Quarter Master General, Lt. General Afzal Muzaffar, and the Director-General is Maj. General Khalid Zaheer. NLC was created in1978 as a crisis management organisation of the federal government. It works in close co-operation with the Army and is primarily driven by manpower drawn from there. NLC’s diversification into mushroom businesses, investments, construction and collection of toll taxes has caused concern in the government and Public Accounts Committee (PAC) circles. They are now venturing into speculative commercial construction, with the over-sized 43-storey Karachi Financial Towers proposed to be erected on a 2.5 acre plot carved out of the amenity railway yard on I.I. Chundrigar Road.

    The designers for the KNB are Engineering Consultants International (Pvt) Ltd (ECIL) a 700-professional strong consultancy firm, headed by Engr. Zaheer Mirza. Some, yet unnamed, foreign consultants were brought in to oversee the strengthening of the tilted bridge structure.

    Shamim Siddique, the MQM Federal Minister for Communications, is reported to have said “I am ready to resign if there is any mistake on my part.” Politicians are acrobats: They keep their balance by saying the opposite of what they do!

    Pakistani leaders are well-known for expressing “deep shock” and “severe grief over loss of life”. They are equally well-known for promising “to leave no stone unturned” during the investigation to “fix the responsibility”, and “make accountable” the guilty persons. But our record of delivering on these exaggerated promises is dismal. So don’t hold your breath.

    How easy will it be to find a military-run organisation at fault, even though all the three actors in the drama probably participated in the decision to choose the strengthening option over the dismantling/reconstruction one?

    There have been numerous catastrophic structural collapses during Pakistan’s 60-year history; the most recent being the Margalla Towers in Islamabad. Angelique Apartments, Dadabhoy Centre, and Fayza Heights are among the many known to all in Karachi. Holes have developed in the deck slabs of Jam Sadiq Ali Bridge in Korangi, and, for the second time, in the bridge connecting Sharae Faisal to Rashid Minhas Road. There is dire need to continuously evaluate the safety of old bridges and structures, and to verify the integrity of various over/underpasses (Nazimabad, Liaquatablad Gharibabad, etc) both recently-built and those under construction (Askari-IV, Jahaur Intersection, Gulshan Chowrangi, Nagan Chowrangi, etc). Have these all been built by qualified, PEC-licensed contractors and designed/supervised by competent engineering consultants?

    We need to move from blaming God (Allah Ki Marzi) for all calamities, to ensuring better standards of construction and safety in Pakistan.

    Some questions that need to be asked

    ‚Ä¢ The curved part of the bridge seems to have collapsed when a cement tanker was passing near the middle of the curved span. Had ‘torsion’ and ‘shear’ been taken into account in the design?

    • Extensive fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) composite retrofit reinforcement appear to have been applied at the bottom, sides of web, and as confinement to the circular columns as strengthening of the structure after it was constructed. How was the necessity of this strengthening realised, and to what degree of thoroughness was the repair/retrofit analysed?

    • There is evidence of extensive failure of the inclined web of the box girder at the support. How did this come about?

  29. arif (unregistered) on September 4th, 2007 @ 9:36 pm

    wah wah wah …….aisay logon k under humaray karachi k tariqyati kam chal rahay hain..,….wat the hell!! don’t the lives of ppl matter to anyone anymore? there are hundreds of cars and public vehicles in karachi but there aren’t enuff machines that can save ppl ………these flyovers are supposed to last for 100 years and it cudn’t even last one month ….wat the hell are these ppl doing?? ….they all want money!!! …they are all corrupt from top till bottom….except some (very very rare) who actually do their work honestly and who actually care for the ppl

    i say that a proper inquiry shud be held and the ppl responsible shud be HANGED TILL DEATH!!! (which ofcourse will never happen)

    all those out there who really care …pray for the ppl who lost their lives and also for their relatives too


    and i hope that all of you shud be hoping for the punishments of those b*******

  30. d0ct0r (unregistered) on September 4th, 2007 @ 10:41 pm

    @Ali for the umpteenth time i would say that am not a jamat supporter.. am a common karachiite sick and tired of MQM’s politics of ethnic hatred and terrorism … on other issues its completely pointless to argue with you…

  31. imran (unregistered) on September 5th, 2007 @ 1:15 am

    “even urdu speaking people are sick and tired of MQM and Altaf’s politics of ethnic hatred and division.”

    Just speak for yourself. I am a urdu speaker and Proud Mohajir and I support mqm and like Altaf Hussain.
    So next time just speak for yourself MR. Dogtor

  32. Rehan ul haq (unregistered) on September 10th, 2007 @ 1:04 pm

    All you crazy Anti MQM people u are mad and u will remain mad.

  33. Rehan ul haq (unregistered) on September 10th, 2007 @ 1:04 pm

    All you crazy Anti MQM people u are mad and u will remain mad.

  34. Rehan ul haq (unregistered) on September 10th, 2007 @ 1:05 pm

    All you crazy Anti MQM people u are mad and u will remain mad.

  35. Rehan ul haq (unregistered) on September 10th, 2007 @ 1:07 pm

    All you crazy Anti MQM people u are mad and u will remain mad. Jeeya MQM Jeeya Altaf & Jeey Mustafa Kamal.

  36. tariq (unregistered) on September 11th, 2007 @ 1:48 am

    KARACHI: Nab begins inquiry into contract for Master Plan

    KARACHI, Sept 9: The National Accountability Bureau (Nab) has launched investigation into the alleged corruption in the award of Karachi Master Plan-2020 Project to a firm, M/s Engineering Consultants International (ECIL), a Nab statement issued here on Sunday said.

    In response to the Expression of Interest (EoI) invited by the city government for the project in November 2004, as many as 13 firms and consortia had submitted their offers. These were subsequently evaluated for pre-qualification by the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC), constituted by the city government.

    Four of the 13 consortia were pre-qualified by the TEC, of which three consortia of consultants had submitted their technical and financial proposals.

    “While examining the documents submitted by M/s ECIL, it has come to the light that the firm had falsely represented itself as partner of the Applied Economics Research Centre, University of Karachi,” the Nab statement said.

    “The former nazim, Naimatullah Khan, and the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) over-ruled advice of the EDO Law in this regard and the Master Plan-2020 contract was awarded to the same firm in spite of major irregularities committed by this firm,” the statement claimed.–APP

  37. tariq (unregistered) on September 19th, 2007 @ 1:54 am

    Judicial probe into Karachi bridge collapse sought

    ISLAMABAD, Sept 16: Consumer Watch Pakistan (CWP) on Sunday demanded a judicial inquiry into the collapse of the Sher Shah Bridge section of the Karachi Northern Bypass.

    The bridge collapsed on Sept 1 when a 70-metre long Baldia Loop of the Sher Shah Bridge suddenly buckled without any warning.

    The initial cause of the incident was stated to be the collapse of the 120-metre long box girder, whose design was controversial yet it was approved by foreign consultants. The collapse resulted in the death of six persons, injuries to several others and severe damage to many vehicles.

    Shamim Siddiqui, the federal minister for communication, announced on the day of incident, that an inquiry committee was being constituted that would submit a report within two weeks but no such report has been released yet although two weeks have passed, a statement issued by the CWP said here on Sunday. It said this clearly showed that government authorities were not sincere in ascertaining the actual cause of the incident and fixing responsibility of the bridge collapse that was inaugurated only three weeks before its collapse. The collapse has raised serious questions about the capacity of Engineering Consultants International Limited (ECIL) and National Logistic Cell (NLC) to design and execute such mega projects. Under the circumstances, CWP has appealed to the government to thoroughly inquire the matter through an inquiry committee, consisting of the judges of the Sind High Court.

    It demanded an immediate judicial inquiry into the incident and blacklisting the company responsible for this criminal negligence. Until the judicial inquiry is finalised, the personnel of both the companies that managed the project, should be kept on the Exit Control List (ECL) so that important proof and information should not be allowed to escape. The cost of damages and compensation to the deceased and the injured should be paid by the company found responsible for the failure of the structure.

    Moreover, work on all the projects being handled by NLC and ECIL should be stopped immediately and a third party review should be made mandatory before the initiation of work on those projects, it demanded. The collapse sums up the state of road safety in Pakistan. The tragic incident also reflects the quality of work Pakistani firms are producing in road projects. The CWP stressed the need to make the Karachi bridge collapse inquiry as a benchmark in Pakistan’s engineering history and culprits should be punished, irrespective of their status.–PPI

  38. tariq (unregistered) on September 19th, 2007 @ 1:57 am

    Karachi bridge collapse: CWP demands judicial enquiry F.P. Report

    Lahore: Consumer Watch Pakistan (CWP) has demanded judicial enquiry into the collapse of Sher Shah Bridge of Karachi Northern bypass. The bridge was collapsed on September 1, when a 70 meter long Baldia loop of Sher Shah Bridge buckled suddenly before giving any warning. The initial cause of the incident was stated to be the collapse of 120 meters long box girder whose design was controversial but was approved by foreign consultants. The collapse resulted in death of 6 persons, injuring several others and damages to many vehicles. Shamim Sadiqui, Federal Minister for Communication, announced on the day of incident, that an enquiry committee is being constituted which would submit the report within two weeks but no such report has been released yet. This clearly shows that government authorities are not sincere in ascertaining the actual cause of the incident and fixing the responsibility of the collapse of bridge that was commissioned only 3 weeks ago. Its collapse has raised serious questions on the capacity of Engineering Consultants International Limited (ECIL) and National Logistic Cell (NLC) to design and execute such mega projects. Under the circumstances, CWP has appealed the government to enquire the matter through an enquiry committee consisting of the Judges of Sind High Court. The collapse of Karachi Bridge sums up the state of road safety in Pakistan. The incidents also comments over the quality of work which Pakistani firms are producing in road projects. There are hundreds of roads which are built at the cost of heavy public exchequer but are washed away in first rain. The actual cause of these incidents lies in the culture of corruption which has engulfed our engineering departments. Due to heavy kickbacks, commissions and bribes involved, the contractors are left with a little money to execute the projects according to the specifications. Every contract document carries a commitment from the contractor that the structure will remain intact for a specific period. Had this clause of contracts been operationalized in letter and spirit, Pakistan’s engineering sector would have been purged of black sheep. But the examples of actual enquiries and punishment to the contractors are only few and far between. There is a need to make the Karachi bridge incident and subsequent enquiry as a benchmark in Pakistan’s engineering history and culprits should be punished irrespective of their status. Many objections are being raised against the design of the project. The design of the project may be faulty but substantial attention should also be diverted towards the quality of work and quality of material used. CWP demands immediate judicial enquiry in the incident and company responsible for this criminal negligence should be black-listed forthwith. Until the judicial enquiry is finalized, the personnel of both the companies, who have managed the project, should be kept on Exit Control List (ECL) so that important proof and information should not go wasted. The cost of damages and compensations to deceased and injured should be paid by the company found responsible for the failure of the structure. Moreover, work on all the projects in Pakistan being handled by NLC and ECIL should be stopped and a third party review should be made before the initiation of work on those projects.

  39. tariq (unregistered) on September 19th, 2007 @ 2:02 am

    Authorities trying to sabotage probe

    KARACHI (NNI): Expressing displeasure over “Sher Shah Bridge” investigation, the relatives of the “Northern Bypass Bridge Collapse” victims have demanded President General Pervez Musharraf, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to take strict action against the authorities trying to sabotage the Sher Shah bridge collapse investigation. Talking to this scribe on Saturday, the relatives of the bridge collapse victims observed that the Sher Shah bridge collapse is a striking example of inaction on the part of Professor Shamim Siddiqui, the Federal Minister for Communications, who is also the Chairman of the National Highway Council, Tariq Mahmood, Federal Secretary, Communications, Major General Imtiaz Ahmad, Chairman, National Highway Authority and the Chairman of the National Disaster Management Cell, Lt. General (Retd) Farooq Ahmad who have spoiled the investigation of this grave and heinous crime. A colossal engineering failure, the first in the history of Pakistan, occurred on September 01, 2007 when a newly constructed bridge of the National Highway Authority at Northern Bypass Karachi, collapsed killing, scores of people at the spot, and injuring many, including three under-training police constables. The bridge was inaugurated by President General Pervez Musharraf on August 6, 2007. Karachi’s Northern Bypass project takes off from the ICI Bridge and traverses through Mauripur Road, SITE Road and RCD Highway and the collapsed bridge is the second of the two flyovers of this 62.15-km project. While talking to this scribe, the angry residents remarked that no significant action against the responsible for mishap has been taken as yet . The lower staff is being made scapegoats. They too have been suspended temporarily until the whole issue calms down. They pointed out that Major General (Retd) Farrukh Javed, the former Chairman NHA, Colonel (Retd) Aziz-ul-Haq Mirza, the Former Member Operations NHA, Engineer Yousaf Barkazai, Project Director concerned and the NHA General Managers including Colonel Safiullah, Engineer Abdul Haq, Engineer Mobeen Siddiqui, Engineer Asim Amin, Engineer Arshad Chaudhry who remained associated with the Northern Bypass Project, Colonel (Retd) Iqbal, NHA’s full time consultant for bridges, Engineer Zaheer Mirza, Chief Executive of M/s. ECIL and the contractor Major General, Zahid Akhtar, Director General, National Logistic Cell and his Project Manager concerned whose names are clearly mentioned in the execution of the collapsed bridge are still at large and no effort is being made to arrest them and to bring them to justice. They demanded the, Pakistan Engineering Council, to suspend the professional engineering licenses granted to the engineers involved in the execution of the northern bypass project, irrespective to their present status and portfolios, till the final investigations and those found guilty must be booked under section 302 of Pakistan penal code, besides banned and blacklisted forever. The eyewitnesses and residents of Shershah Paracha Chowk suspect an, unholy alliance of industrialists and alleged corrupt National Highway Authority’s officers, M/s. Engineering Consultant International Private Limited (ECIL), M/s. National Logistic Cell (NLC) and the Sub-Contractor to be behind the undue alteration of the bridge design. Angry residents, shopkeepers and their elected representatives of Union Council 4 SITE Town claimed that alteration in the Sher Shah bridge design had been accommodated just to safeguard the interests of industrialists whose factories are situated nearby the bridge. Had it not been altered, some of the important industrial units of the area could have lost their precious land or infrastructure, they alleged. Some locals pointed out that substandard construction material used in the construction of the bridge and faulty design led to the collapse of the bridge. Meanwhile, a senior official of the National Highway Authority, on condition of anonymity for fear of angering the big boys in the Federation of Pakistan has urged the authorities to find out whether the award of Northern Bypass to M/s. National Logistic Cell was on merit or otherwise He urged the authorities to probe into the tendering and pre-qualification process of the Northern Bypass and Lyari Expressway projects. He said, the authorities must check whether M/s. Engineering Consultant International Private Limited (ECIL) had the appropriate experience of designing bridges of such high magnitude or not. He said they need to find out whether the contractor M/s. National Logistics Cell had the relevant experience of making such a big “snake like” bridge or not. He said, they need to check whether the contractor M/s. National Logistic Cell had bridges specialist on board or not. He said, they must check if the bio-data’s of bridge specialists were evaluated, cross-examined by the National Highway Authority or not. They must look into the review of consultant design by the contractor M/s. National Logistic Cell (NLC). Any alteration in the bridge design at a later stage needs to be checked and pointed out. The involvement of consultant, which was exclusively hired for bridges on lucrative terms and conditions, in the National Highway Authority Headoffice need to be seen. Use of substandard construction material in collapsed Sher Shah Bridge also needs a thorough probe, he said. The reasons for ignoring a basic survey conducted by the Sindh Board of Revenue (SBOR) about the land on which the said project was built should also be made public

  40. tariq (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2007 @ 4:40 am

    External Threats to Pakistan
    The Northern Bypass Bridge collapse – what really happened? Separating Facts from Fiction!?
    The Northern Bypass Bridge collapse – what really happened?

    Separating Facts from Fiction!

    It is time we get to the bottom of the real issue which led to the bridge collapse cutting through the propaganda campaign and media noise. We are seeing that a huge amount of disinformation and lies are being propagated in the media to confuse the real issues involved as ordinary public is not aware of the modalities and methods of major civil engineering projects. Here we would like to sharply focus on the facts which are also available in the public domain but have been blurred out by the vested interests involved in deliberate disinformation war. We need to find out who is responsible. Was it a design fault or poor quality of construction? This is the most critical question and demands serious answers.

    When any civil engineering project fails, there are only four possibilities:

    Good Construction but Design fault.

    Good Design but Construction fault.

    Bad design and Bad Construction.

    When the Design is good and also the construction, then the projects are sound and safe. In this case, the only question we need to find out is – what caused the failure? Was it bad design; Was it bad construction or failure of both? A wrong answer to this question would get many innocent prosecuted and would allow the powerful perpetrators of crime to go free. This is where the actual high stake game begins.

    Let us make few simple statements first to make this article easy to understand.

    In any civil engineering project of this scale, there are minimum of three parties involved.

    The Client. In this case it was the National Highway Authority whose job is to award the contracts for designing and construction of the project. NHA awarded to contract to ECIL, Karachi as Consultants and NLC as Contractors.

    The Consultant. In this case it was the ECIL, the Karachi based firm who was responsible for designing the bridge and also act as Construction Managers to assure quality compliance by the Contractors.

    The Contractor: Who is responsible for construction the project as designed by the Consultant. In this case the Contractors were the National Logistic cell, the NLC.

    Once the contract is awarded, what are the responsibilities of Consultant and Contractor? This is a very critical question as it defines the role of responsibilities of both parties and hence allows us to fix the responsibility if anything goes wrong.

    The Consultant is responsible for:

    Designing the Project, its engineering calculations, structure design, elevation, gradient, setting specification for types of steel, cement, concrete and sand. Also, they are responsible for over seeing the project construction, keeping a closest eye on each and every step of the Contractors and issue them “check reports” or no objection certificates at every stage of the project as construction goes on. This contractor cannot move an inch without written “OK reports” by the Consultant. If Consultant is not satisfied with the material quality or quantity or the quality of work by the Contractor, the ok certificate is not issued and payment of the Contractor is withheld by the Client. Once the “OK report” is issued by the Consultant for the job already done, the total responsibility of the work done so far shifts to the Consultant which had given the final approval and certificate. This is very critical to understand. The most critical aspect of the entire project is its design. If the design is faulty, then the entire responsibility lies on the Consultant NOT on the Contractor or the Client.

    The Contractors is responsible for:

    · Constructing the project according to the Design given by the Consultant.

    · Constructing the project according to the material quantity specified by the Consultant.

    · Constructing the project according to the material quality specified by the Consultant.

    If a Contractor does not deviate from the above three critical points, he has done his job honestly and cannot be held responsible for any failures. A Contractor cannot refuse to construct any design given to it by the Consultant nor it can change any specification or parameter on its own. It has to follow the drawings given by the Consultants. Consultant approves the work done by the Contractor and issues quality certificates all the way called “check reports”. If a Contractor has received “Check reports” from the Consultant, the sole responsibility of the work done thus far shifts to the Consultant as Construction managers guaranteeing quality of Construction. This is how it works.

    So when a project fails, any inquiry has to focus on Design faults or Construction Faults. All other issues raised are only side issues and do not answer the fundamental question of who is responsible. An inquiry is must to determine the responsibility.

    What the inquiry Commission does? It does three fundamental studies though it can expand its scope to other side issues as well.

    · An inquiry commission obviously studies the design to see if there were any fundamental design faults in the project. If a design fault is detected, the responsibility lies on the Consultant. In this case it would lie on the ECIL if design fault is detected.

    · The commission would also study records and samples to see if the Contractor deviated from the design, used poor material or used less than specified material. If these findings are normal then the Contractor is not help responsible. In this case, the Contractor is NLC. Else, the fault lies with the Contractor.

    · Inquiry commission also studies the process of Construction Management and quality control by the Consultants during the course of the project. If the Consultants have issued Check Reports or OK reports to the Client and Contractors, which are NHA and NLC in this case, then also the responsibility lies on the Consultant for giving quality control certificates if the project fails in the end.

    Now we come to the bridge collapse and study the facts. There is no doubt that the collapse of the northern bypass bridge in Karachi is indeed a tragic and catastrophic affair. But what is stunning indeed is that even before the inquiry begins, the MQM minister blames NLC and announces its blacklisting!

    The entire media campaign is being orchestrated to rest the blame on NLC and NHA without even mentioning the name of the Consultants, the ECIL! Someone very powerful is indeed trying to protect the well connected Consulting firm which is also responsible for entire Consultation works in earth quake disaster zones in Kashmir as Consultants to ERRA.

    There are reports which suggest that pressure would be brought against the inquiry commission by the vested groups who would be trying to bail out the consultants and if that is not possible they would also try to implicate the NHA / NLC into it as well by putting partial blame — enough to get NLC blacklisted.

    This is a high stake, high risk game as many civil contractors who compete with NLC for government contracts are trying to get NLC blacklisted. The statement of MQM minister is absurd to the limit that they blacklist NLC even before the inquiry begins !! While we fully support am impartial, powerful inquiry, we also do not want real culprits to go free and NLC should not be made scapegoat for corrupt politicians or Mafia lords. Various stake holders mentioned below are already playing their dirty sex game.

    In the past when similar inquiries of high stake corruption were done, assassinations also took place to send signals to concerned quarters. The murder of PSO chairman Munsif Raza and MD KESC are examples in case. The business competition, anger against army, trying to protect their own kind in civil engineering community and MQM’s own attempts to shift the entire blame on NLC will not make it easy for an impartial inquiry under present circumstances.

    Also, it should also be noted that as to why the design of the bridge was changed when a factory came in its way and took stay from the court. The factory owner, his details, contacts with MQM, and his ability to get the design changed should also be considered. This is critical as last minute changes in design lead to serious engineering complications. Why the city government did not get the stay vacated, why the hurry to finish the bridge that they did not waste time in legal proceedings to vacate the stay and went for alternate design which was risky ? was it their attempt to get the project completed in undue haste to take the credit for their achievements or was it to get the lucrative contract where commissions and kickbacks make good money? Why the MQM is trying to protect the Consultants ECIL and blacklist the Contractor, NLC even without the inquiry?? In order to avoid all these issue, the MOM lead ministers are finding a simple solution of blacklisting military led NLC instead. This is farcical.

    These are known facts that this bridge had major design faults and NOT construction faults. There are dozen of check reports issued by ECIL to NLC all along the course of the project taking responsibility for the quality of work and material. But instead, major design faults were detected when first Girder was built. It was the opinion of NLC that this Girder had design faults and should be demolished. But the Consultants brought in foreign Consultants to fix the problem instead of a re-design. The NLC had no say in the new repair ideas floated by the Consultants. NHA allowed ECIL to get the bridge repaired at its own cost and did not put any penalty on the NLC. Massive weight was added to the initial design which weakened the supporting pillars. In the end, even speed breakers were added on the bridge by the Consultants to slow the traffic which further increased weight on the under designed pillars!! It is most obvious that the Consultants kept on trying to repair a faulty design through various damage control methods instead of approving demolishing the first Girder to save their own reputation, which ultimately caused this catastrophic tragedy. Now they are also orchestrating a media campaign to rest the entire blame on the NLC and NHA. The entire documentation and paper work as well as correspondence of the project are available in public domain and should be carefully observed by the inquiry team.

    Also, there are reports that all other bridges made during the MQM tenure are engineering disasters with similar design issues as in this case. There are traffic jams on many flyover bridges due to poor designs which increase the weight and shake the bridges violently or they cause major accidents when traffic from these bridges merges with the main roads. Flyover designs are not meant for huge traffic jams but for smooth flow of traffic. Installing traffic lights or speed breakers to merge the traffic into main roads or distribute the load on bridge pillars are engineering design disasters not construction faults. Many other Karachi bridges show similar design disasters. It would be interesting to collect data on all projects and to survey design faults on other “mega “projects under taken in the last few years by the MQM government else I am afraid we will be cleaning ruble from many other places in near future.

    This should also be noted that this is a high risk, high stake environment in which multiple forces would be operating to implicate NHA, FWO, and NLC for various reasons. The present political environment in the country has given another opportunity to the political opposition to increase their pressure on army related organizations irrespective of who is at fault. The major players whose prime interest is in implicating FWO / NHA / NLC and who are pitched against the army are:

    The Consultants. ECIL in this case. Their interest is obvious. Unless they implicate the contactors, they themselves would be nailed. They would use all their clout to try to either rest the blame totally on the NLC or at least share the burden with the contractor to reduce their own liability.

    The Competing Contractors who want to push NLC out of the business in this lucrative market. This is a multi billion rupees high stake market where absence of one powerful contractor would tremendously benefit the remaining players.

    The MQM who is seriously embarrassed over the disaster as Minister as well as city and Sindh government belongs to them and they have to find a scapegoat to rest the blame on. Their statements have already implicated the NLC, even before the inquiry began!

    Anti-army local political elements who want to draw political mileage out of this disaster to implicate army run organizations like NHA, NLC and FWO.

    Foreign players especially Indians who are taking keen interest in the crisis and putting the blame on the army and trying to exploit the prevalent anti-army environment in the country to further their anti-Pakistan agenda. The recent launch of the book Military Inc: is also a similar attempt by Indian and foreign players to tarnish army’s image by ridiculing their corporate ventures. The bridge collapse also gives ammo to their campaign.

    Unscrupulous local Media who would be looking for hot stories and would implicate all especially armed forces without mercy as in the present environment media is acting as Judge, jury and the executioners in almost all matters of national importance.

    It should be the top most responsibility of the government to assure transparent and swift inquiry to bring the guilty to book and to prevent any vested interests from shifting the blame on innocents by pulling powerful strings or maneuvering the media information. It is not going to be easy considering the stakes involved for the perpetrators but then this is where the challenge is.

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