Mumbai: The tragic Mumbai CST foot-over-bridge collapse has once again brought country’s aging civic infrastructure in light. Indian Stainless Steel Development Association (ISSDA), India’s apex stainless steel body, has reiterated the importance of choosing the best alternative for strengthening country’s social infrastructure. “There is a need for choosing the best material for a safe and maintenance-free infrastructure in the country. We appeal to the local civic authorities, and other concerned departments to adopt stainless steel in all infrastructural projects, as it would enhance the life cycle and durability. The Indian Railways is already relying on stainless steel for its upcoming infrastructure along with other utilities”, asserted President, ISSDA, Mr KK Pahuja. A case-in-point is the proposed stainless steel foot-over-bridge at Bhayandar station in Mumbai by the Indian Railways. ISSDA is ready to provide all support in form of technical know-how and hand-holding to the government and civic authorities in this matter.
As per industry data, around 1, 35,000 rail bridges exist in India, of which nearly 25% are over 100 years old and need immediate replacement. Though more than 1000 bridges are rehabilitated every year, there is a huge backlog in rebuilding these bridges. Also, India has a coastline of 7500 km which mandates the need for a stainless steel infrastructure. Given the high air-borne salts in marine environments, bridges these areas are exposed to rapid corrosion and are vulnerable to collapsing.
Infrastructure in the current ecosystem requires easy design and fabrication, reduced life cycle cost, resistance to corrosion and fire, high strength-to-weight ratio, and quick turnaround time for project completion. All these properties are inherent to stainless steel, making it the optimum choice for the nation’s infrastructure.