Counting a 13-year-old boy, who was run over by a train yesterday while crossing the tracks near Sandhurst Road, four people have died after demolition of the Hancock Bridge on January 10. A massive protest after the boy’s death forced the Central Railway (CR) and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to think if they should build a foot over bridge before razing Carnac Bridge at Masjid.

People cross the tracks after demolition of the Hancock Bridge. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
People cross the tracks after demolition of the Hancock Bridge. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

CR officials said school kid Gaurav Vora was crossing the tracks at around 11.30 am yesterday when he was run over by a train near Sandhurst Road that followed a massive rail roko at the station. The protest delayed trains on the Central Railway. “20 train services were cancelled and four partially cancelled,” said Narendra Patil, chief PRO, CR.

Gaurav Vora
Gaurav Vora

The protestors wanted railway officials to come to the spot for inspection. Locals claimed that 18 people have died since the demolition of the bridge but rail officials and police denied this claim. Finally trains resumed at 1.35pm after the railway police intervened and removed people from tracks.

There is a school nearby and students used the Hancock Bridge to cross the tracks.

Now, the CR and BMC officials will meet on February 17 to decide if an FOB can be built there. “There have been four deaths near Sandhurst Road ever since Hancock Bridge was demolished, unlike what the locals claim. Asking people to not trespass railway tracks is a never-ending process,” said Madhukar Pandey, Commissioner, Government Railway Police. The officials are surprised that people climb tall walls separating the slum from the railway tracks to cross them.

CR sources said that the first thing to do before demolishing Carnac Bridge, that is slated to happen in a month’s time, would be to find space for an FOB. “It is the job of the BMC to think about the alternative at Carnac Bridge,” said Patil.