Mumbai: For the first time, Indian Army engineers shall design and construct commuter bridges at three Mumbai railway stations, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced on Tuesday.
The bridges will be built on Elphinstone Road, Currey Road and Ambivali stations of the Mumbai suburban railway. "Given the Army engineers' expertise, they will construct the three foot overbridges by January 31. The Army has been very helpful to not just us but the society at large and I am very thankful to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal for this huge help to bring ease in Mumbaikars' life," Fadnavis told the media.
"The Elphinstone Road bridge will be a new one, independent of the one being planned and constructed by the railways. It will be located towards the Parel side at the northern end of the Elphinstone Road station," Western Railway Divisional Railway Manager Mukul Jain said. He said an Army team will identify the spot, submit its foot overbridge design and plans to the railways before proceeding with the work. According to Jain, this is the first time such a civilian contract would be handled by the Indian Army, which is known to have vast engineering expertise.
Goyal said work on the bridges was expected to begin within 15 days. The developments came a little over a month after 23 commuters were killed in a stampede on a narrow foot overbridge connecting Elphinstone Road with Parel on Central Railway on September 29. Sitharaman, Goyal, Fadnavis and other officials earlier on Tuesday surveyed the Elphinstone Road station to take stock of the improvement works in progress post-stampede.
Mumbai BJP President Ashish Shelar also met Sitharaman and Goyal seeking the expertise of Army engineers who are known to make durable bridges in critical locations at high speed.