The third-party audit is intended to provide transparency about the upkeep and maintenance of the Indian Railways’ rail bridges, as well as road over bridges (ROBs) and foot over bridges (FOBs).

Indian Railways has a network of 150,390 bridges on its tracks across the country.  In addition, there are 3,449 ROBs for the public to cross the tracks on roads and 3,771 FOBs for pedestrians.

In 2018 it decided to carry out a third-party audit to obtain an independent expert view on the condition of critical structures. The objective of the third-party inspection by outside agencies was to have a ‘bird’s eye view’ of the condition of critical components that may have been adversely affected in corrosion-prone areas.

Priority structures were identified, including all ‘mega bridges’. Major benefits the audit were realised in the Mumbai area where dilapidation was noticed in 49 ROBs. Essential repairs were carried out to 43 and six were closed and dismantled; their rebuilding is in progress.

Dilapidated conditions were also noticed in 127 FOBs. Essential repairs were carried out on 95 and 32 were closed and dismantled for replacement.  Rebuilding work has been completed for 20 FOBs and 12 are in progress.

Out of the total identified 1,107 structures, the third-party audit of 815 bridges, ROBs and FOBs has been completed and the balance of work is in progress.