Mumbai: Central Railway rejects BMC claims, says Hancock work underway

Updated: Nov 09, 2019, 07:36 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

CR says reconstruction activities have not been stalled for want of deposit of maintenance charges, as claimed by the civic body.

Girders at the Hancock Bridge site. File pic
Girders at the Hancock Bridge site. File pic

The Central Railway has dismissed the BMC's allegations that the reconstruction of the Hancock Bridge between Mazgaon and Sandhurst Road has been delayed because of their last moment demands. Work on the project is underway, the CR said on Friday.

"We will not allow the work to hamper and there has been continuous progress from our side, with regular meetings with BMC top officials and railway engineers," a senior CR official said.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had earlier this week blamed the CR for causing hindrance to the project by demanding a compensation of Rs 11 core to remove the overhead wire, in addition with Rs 28 crore for coal and 10-year maintenance. A BMC official had said this would delay the project by another six months.

The CR, however, said on Friday that they have already floated tenders for the overhead wire work, irrespective of delay in procedural payments. The maintenance charges and fee for shifting of utilities are procedural payments between two government organisations and the issue and the amount had already been decided in 2015, much before the bridge was demolished.

"We hold regular meetings to monitor the work and the latest meeting was held on September 18. No work has been allowed to suffer for want of deposit of maintenance charges or utility shifting charges as tenders for the shifting have already been invited," Central Railway's chief public relations officer Shivaji Sutar said.

Sutar added that the approval for general arrangement drawings, all design approvals and sanction of commissioner of railway (safety) for commencement of work were already granted, back in December 2015.

The Hancock Bridge over the railway track, between Mazgaon and Sandhurst Road, was built in 1879 (140 years ago).

The bridge was declared unsafe by CR in 2015 and demolished in January 2016. The bridge is an important link of connectivity, but still, the restoration work has been delayed for close to four years.

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