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Refitted for Rs 70 L, FoB gives Kurla locals the jitters

The foot over bridge (FoB) at Kurla (West), which the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) renovated in 2008 at a whopping cost of Rs 70 lakh, does not seem to be serving its purpose. The FoB is 500 metres from Kurla station and crosses the railway tracks heading towards Sion station, and was easily accessible a few months ago via concrete stairs and people could cross over to Chunabhatti area and Kurla market.

However, the authority demolished the staircase and installed metal stairs on a temporary basis. Now the FoB witnesses fewer footfalls as people do not want to risk injury while climbing up the temporary stairs because they claim the gaps between the steps are more than it should be. The fear of slipping and falling, especially during the nighttime, is acting as a deterrent and many choose to take the long way around.


Bone of contention: The demolished concrete steps leading to the foot over bridge 500 metres from Kurla station, which people used to cross over the railway tracks to get to Chunabhatti area and Kurla market

Residents of Kurla area, who used to take the FoB to cross over to the other side of the railway tracks are upset with the sudden change and have approached the local corporator to get this problem resolved.

The local corporator of the area, Dr Anuradha Pednekar, said, “I approached the railway officials to get the repair work done, as the people from my area are being affected. Commuting to the other side of the road has become a difficult task. The railway officials did not give me a satisfactory answer and I asked the ward officers to follow up with the issue.”

She added that the railway officials had asked the BMC to put in the money for the renovation of the FoB, as civilians were using it.
“Also, the people in my area want the concerned authority to ensure that the concrete stairs are reconstructed, but the railways is not cooperating,” Pednekar said.

When contacted Central Railway PRO, AK Singh, said, “We will check and ask the concerned official to get the matter resolved.”

Voices
Kurla resident Pramod Shirgaonkar said, “I requested the corporator to look into the matter as a lot of time is wasted to get to the other side of the tracks since crossing over via the FoB is risky. The current staircase is not safe and anyone could easily fall off because of the gaps.”

Chunabhatti resident Vitabai Palekar, was a regular user of the FoB before the concrete steps were demolished, but has recently stopped doing so because of fear of falling. She said, “It is high time we get this issue fixed as we fear accidents could happen. My son studies in a school on the other side of the tracks and now we have to go all the way around Kurla station to drop him.” 

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