Everybody wants to inaugurate the bridge, except MMRDA

Political parties also jump on the bandwagon and attempt to inaugurate Vasai east-west bridge, but MMRDA defies overwhelming public demand and brings in SRPF to ensure ROB stays shut

Everybody wants the Vasai east-west bridge to be opened, including several political parties that are now lining up to conduct their own ‘inauguration’ after mid-day’s report on the bridge being thrown open by the frustrated public, and its subsequent closing by MMRDA. But instead of hurrying to finish whatever work remains, the MMRDA seems more keen on keeping everyone out. So much so that it has now deployed the SRPF to guard the rail over bridge (ROB) round the clock.

Also Read: Ego bruised, MMRDA closes Vasai bridge using iron girders

SRPF personnel and several cops from the local police station have now been deployed on the bridge. Pics/Hanif Patel
SRPF personnel and several cops from the local police station have now been deployed on the bridge. Pics/Hanif Patel

Vasai corporator and spokesperson of the Bahujan Vikas Aghadi party, Ajiv Patil reasoned, “There is some work left and technically, it cannot be used right now. If MMRDA is facing any problem then we (the municipal corporation) will help them.”

“People are facing a lot of problems and we want the bridge to be opened soon. We are following up on the matter and it will be opened soon,” he added.

First, MNS
On Thursday evening, MNS party workers reached the bridge to inaugurate it. They tried to open the bridge but cops and MMRDA officials stopped them, saying work is still left and it cannot be used yet.

Speaking to mid-day, MNS taluka president Jayendra Patil, who lead the protest, said, “The bridge work is complete and very little work is left, which can be completed in a few days.

People are suffering due to MMRDA’s delay in opening the bridge. During the morning and afternoon peak hours, it takes hours for people to cross the older bridge.”

“When we went to open the bridge, MMRDA officials said they would open it soon. Today, we met one engineer who has given assurance that the bridge will open soon. If that does not happen, we will open the bridge in MNS style. 
We will follow up on the matter.”

When asked about the public opening the bridge on Wednesday, he said, “The public did the right thing. They are frustrated.”

Then, Jan Andolan
Following MNS, yesterday, the Jan Andolan Party workers went to the bridge and also did an inauguration. However, MMRDA officials and cops did not allow movement of vehicles.

‘Why should we wait for the Chief Minister?’ asks this MNS poster at the bridge
‘Why should we wait for the Chief Minister?’ asks this MNS poster at the bridge

Pandit said, “The bridge has already been delayed by several years. I personally checked the bridge and the remaining work can be completed in one day, but they are delaying it on purpose. We have given them an ultimatum of four days, otherwise we will take action.”

And now, NCP
NCP party workers are going to stage a protest at the bridge this evening. They say they will open the bridge anyhow. NCP district president Rajaram Mulik said, “All political parties are trying to get mileage with the issue.

Jan Andolan founder Vivek Pandit (centre) cuts a ribbon on the bridge and breaks a coconut for his ‘inauguration’
Jan Andolan founder Vivek Pandit (centre) cuts a ribbon on the bridge and breaks a coconut for his ‘inauguration’

The work of the bridge is complete and it should be thrown open for public use immediately. Public has lost patience and they did the right thing by opening it themselves. Delaying the project is a national loss; so much petrol and diesel is wasted in traffic. On Saturday, we will try to open the bridge for public or make it sure that it is opened soon.”

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