Railway authorities have requested the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to repair or re-construct half a dozen road overbridges (ROBs), one of which will be closed for traffic from July 24, 2018. The request by the Western Railway (WR), comes in the wake of the collapse of a portion of a ROB in suburban Andheri, early this month.
The incident had led the Railways to undertake a safety audit of bridges above its tracks, with the help of the BMC and experts from IIT-Bombay.
WR chief spokesperson Ravinder Bhakar said, “In order to ensure total safety of overhead structures on railway tracks at various locations, we have requested the civic body to repair or re-construct, on a top priority basis, six ROBs that fall in their jurisdiction. Besides, we have advised the traffic police and the BMC to close a ROB in the Lower Parel area from tomorrow (July 24, 2018), for all vehicles and pedestrians, to undertake repair,” he said. The decision was taken, after an inspection of the bridge (which was found to be in poor condition) by officials from the WR, IIT-Bombay and the BMC, Bhakar said.
Soon after the July 3, 2018 bridge collapse near Andheri station, railway minister Piyush Goyal had ordered a safety audit of nearly 450 ROBs, foot overbridges (FOBs) and bridges over the pipelines in Mumbai, to detect and rectify any flaws in them. Bhakar said, “There are 145 FOBs and 29 ROBs under the jurisdiction of the BMC, the MMRDA and the PWD, which fall under its (WR) corridor. A detailed inspection of these bridges is underway.”
Meanwhile, following the WR’s request, the traffic police decided to close the Delisle ROB at Lower Parel. The bridge is 62.72 metres long and 23.20 metres wide. Ashok Dudhe, deputy commissioner of police (traffic), said: “We received a letter from the WR on July 21, 2018, informing us about the bad condition of the Delisle ROB in Lower Parel and seeking its closure. So, this bridge will be closed for all vehicular traffic and pedestrians from tomorrow morning. A traffic diversion plan is being made.”
Bhakar added: “During our inspection, the 97-year-old ROB was found to have developed corrosion in its cross girders, over the railway tracks. Therefore, it was decided to repair it on a priority basis.”