Mumbai: Breathless Bandra station to get relief with new Foot Over Bridge
Congestion problems at Bandra East will be a thing of the past from March, with station set to get one of the widest foot overbridges in city
Feeling breathless just looking at this picture? Imagine walking on this oppressively narrow east-west foot overbridge, heaving with commuters and closed in by slums on both sides. Fortunately, by March 2019, things might not be so bad, as WR is building one of the city's widest FOBs here to relieve the pressure.
In our Safety Audit series, mid-day had highlighted the dangerously crowded east-west FOB at Bandra station, which is made all the more claustrophobic by encroachments on both sides ('Slums put brakes on safety', mid-day, October 13, 2017). This crowding is especially worrying in the context of the stampede on a similarly crowded FOB at Elphinstone Road station on September 289, 2017.
This is the sole FOB that connects to both the east and west. In the east, this is the only FOB that exits towards the BKC side, hence, during peak hours, office-goers swarm it. While there is another FOB towards the east, it lands in the middle of the slums towards Bandra Terminus, and is used by few commuters.
WR hopes to nip the crowding issues on the main FOB once it completes the new one under construction on the Churchgate-bound side of the station. "We are building a 10-metre-wide bridge that is about 102 metres in length, at a cost of about R8 crore. It will be completed by March 2019," Ravinder Bhakar, WR's chief PRO, told mid-day.
He added that the bridge will provide additional connectivity to the Bandra East skywalk on one end, and will connect to an existing FOB on the Churchgate end leading to all platforms at the station. A visit to the site revealed that while the four-storey slums on either side have been partially demolished, the new bridge's foundation and pillars are complete, and work is moving towards the skywalk.
Railway officials said such wide deck bridges have been built at important stations that see excessive crowding. Passenger footfall has significantly gone up over the last few years at the BKC end of Bandra station. Commuters and passenger associations welcomed the decision, saying the bridge is long overdue. "It will decongest the existing FOB in a revolutionary way."
No. of months in which the bridge will be complete
According to a survey conducted by the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation and Wilbur Smith, Bandra station sees 4.9 lakh passengers daily, making it the third-busiest on the western line. The exponential rise in the station's commuter numbers occurred after the growth of BKC. The railways' efforts to put in more infrastructure have not kept up, making a stampede-like situation during peak hours an everyday affair.
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