Elphinstone stampede aftermath: Mumbai to get 50 new FOBs

Nov 08, 2017, 08:35 IST | Rajendra B. Aklekar

Mumbai to get 50 new FOBs, authorities invite architects and designers across city on board to cull out best practices for fast and sturdy construction

Following the stampede at Elphinstone Road station on September 29, which left 23 dead, the Railways are leaving no stone unturned to avoid another repeat. After roping in the Indian Army to build key foot overbridges (FOBs) at stations that witness highest footfall, the Railways are now reaching out to city architects and designers to help provide innovative solutions to construct sturdy FOBs for the railway network.

The swanky FOB with glass panels, recently constructed at Wadala station, is among the possible design options for new bridges
The swanky FOB with glass panels, recently constructed at Wadala station, is among the possible design options for new bridges

As per plans, the Railways will be building 50 new foot overbridges (FOBs) at the cost of over Rs 500 crore by 2018. In order to ensure error-free planning, the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) has organised an interactive session on November 10 with designers and architects. A source said that the Railways are hoping to receive inputs on the best practices for faster construction and expertise to construct these bridges.

The Elphinstone Road station stampede on Sept 29
The Elphinstone Road station stampede on Sept 29

While Central Railway is constructing and widening 15 footbridges, Western Railway will be building 36 stations. In addition to this, the Bombay Sappers' engineering team from the Indian Army will be separately building three FOBs at Elphinstone Road (extension), Currey Road and Ambivli stations respectively.

12 metre-wide bridges like the one at Thane station, are a new trend that witness high footfall
12 metre-wide bridges like the one at Thane station, are a new trend that witness high footfall

"We have some of the best engineers, but with so many bridges coming up, it is important to get 'out-of-the-box' ideas about design and construction process. We have a set standard procedure to get things done, but we want to explore if there are viable ideas, which could fit into the Railways' method of working," said a senior MRVC official, while explaining why the interactive session has been organised.

Sanjay Singh, MRVC chief spokesperson
Sanjay Singh, MRVC chief spokesperson

For the session, the Railways have invited qualified professionals, "with some idea of the pressure of working with high-tension wires". Interested professionals can send an email to the Railways, confirming their participation.

Once the ideas are collated, they will be assessed on merit. Feasible ideas will be incorporated in the construction plan. "In railway standards, safety is paramount and any deviation from practice needs approvals and sanctions. However, if there are ideas that we could work out within the framework, they will always be welcomed. We want to give this a shot," the MRVC official said.

Confirming the development, Sanjay Singh, MRVC chief spokesperson and executive director (planning) said, "The interactive session will include design of all FOBs planned by zonal railways."

To register, write to ce@mrvc.gov.in and dycpmcmrvc@gmail.com.


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