Andheri bridge collapse: BMC, Railways decide to 'sincerely' co-ordinate

Jul 06, 2018, 11:04 IST | Rajendra B. Aklekar

In their first meeting after Andheri mishap, railways says 10 squads to audit bridges, while BMC says 12

Andheri bridge collapse: BMC, Railways decide to 'sincerely' co-ordinate
(From left) CR General Manager D K Sharma, BMC chief Ajoy Mehta and WR General Manager A K Gupta at the meeting

In a face-saving measure, the BMC and railways came together for yet another high-level meeting, at the BMC headquarters, and once again decided to "sincerely" co-ordinate with one another; and yet, by the end of it, they weren't on the same page. While the BMC issued a note stating 12 groups had been formed to jointly audit 445 bridges, the railways' note said 10 teams had been formed.

The meeting was attended by Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta, General Manager of Western Railway A K Gupta, General Manager of Central Railway D K Sharma and engineering heads of railways and BMC. "This [BMC and railways giving different number of teams] shows what kind of a co-ordination meeting it was. There seems to be no clarity after the first meeting itself..." said Subhash Gupta, former member of the Divisional Railway Users' Consultative Committee.

Inspections from today
Joint teams of BMC, railways and IIT experts will start from Friday a detailed audit of road overbridges, foot overbridges, pipelines, etc passing over tracks; 445 such structures have been identified in the Mumbai Suburbs; the deadline for completing the audit has been kept as three to four months. It was also decided to take up the repair or reconstruction of stressed bridges on priority without procedural delays. Also, assessment of the oldest bridges will be given priority.

Planning co-ordination
Railway officials requested the civic body that a drive be carried out for removal of encroachment over pedestrian pathways on bridges, as such encroachment corrodes and weakens the structure. It was highlighted that all measures would be taken to ensure sturdiness of all structures, and "no stone would be left unturned" to provide Mumbaikars a "safe and comfortable commute".

445
Total number of overbridges in the city that need to be jointly audited by both the BMC and the railways

Also read: Andheri bridge collapse: 500 staffers put Western Railways back on track in 7 hours

A jigsaw puzzle
The CRS has begun an inquiry into the bridge collapse; yesterday, the railways brought all its broken pieces to Mumbai Central and put them together.

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