Fearing for the safety of people during Ganpati visarjans, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to restrict the number of people on the footover bridge at Girgaum Chowpatty, as the bridge has been declared to be in a dilapidated condition.
The 90-foot long bridge near Prarthana Samaj at Girgaum was constructed 37 years ago. The footover bridge is used every year by hundreds of devotees to catch a final glimpse of the Ganesha idols before they are immersed into the water. However, this year, the officials from the civic body have shut it down, as it can be dangerous.
“The bridge has been rusting owing to the moisture and salt. The BMC-appointed consultant suggested that the bridge would not be able to take the weight of hundreds of people and hence, we have shut down the bridge,” said a senior civic official from the bridge department adding that only 70 lensman would be allowed on the bridge on the final day of immersions.
He added that the BMC had not decided whether it should repair or reconstruct the bridge. “We will study the cost factor for repair and reconstruction and also the time duration and then make a decision,” added the official.
Ravindra Ghodke, the chief engineer, roads department said, “We have obtained a consultant’s opinion and he has suggested restricting entry on the day of immersion as a safety measure. The entry should not be exceeding 100 people.”