Union Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Chemical & Fertilizers Shri Mansukh Mandaviya has said that the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has inventoried 1,72,517 bridges/structures under Indian Bridge Management System (IBMS). These structures comprise 1,34,229 culverts, 32,806 minor bridges, 3,647 major and 1,835 extra-long bridges. Earlier there was no proper data available on these structures on the National Highways network.
IBMS crates an inventory of all bridges in the country and rate their structural condition so that timely repair and rehabilitation work can be carried out based on the criticality of the structure.
IBMS is the largest platform in the world owned by a single owner, with a database that could exceed 1,50,000 bridge structures. So far 1,15,000 bridges have been inventoried, of which 85,000 are culverts and the rest are bridges.
Why was it necessary?
- Lack of any database on bridges in the country has led to a situation where there is no clear idea about the exact number and location of bridges. Hence, it has become difficult to maintain bridges in proper working condition. The poor condition of bridges hampers efficient transport and has also led to accidents and loss of lives on several occasions.
- During inventory creation, each bridge is assigned a unique identification number or National Identity Number based on the state, RTO zone and whether it is situated on a National Highway, State Highway or is a district road.
- Then the precise location of the bridge in terms of latitude-longitude is collected through GPS and based on this, the bridge is assigned a Bridge Location Number.
- Thereafter, engineering characteristics like the design, materials, type of bridge, its age, loading, traffic lane, length, the width of carriageway etc are collected and are used to assign a Bridge Classification Number to the structure.
- These are then used to do a structural rating of the structure on a scale of 0 to 9, and each bridge is assigned a Structural Rating Number.
- In addition to the structural rating, the bridges are also being assigned Socio-Economic Bridge Rating Number which will decide the importance of the structure in relation to its contribution to the daily socio-economic activity of the area in its vicinity.
- Based on this inventory IBMS will analyze data and identify bridges that need attention. Further inspection will be carried out wherever required to improve the operational availability of the structure, enhance its life and prioritize repair and rehabilitation work. The data will help to decide which bridge needs critical attention, or which needs to be rebuilt.