Mumbai: WR, BMC squabble over fixing of Lower Parel ROB
Authorities give out perplexing signals about closed ROB right from who's going to fix it to signboards announcing its closure to motorists
Even as the possibility of massive traffic confusion stares them in the eye with the closure of the Lower Parel rail overbridge (ROB) after it was declared unfit, the Western Railway (WR) and BMC are still squabbling over how to fix it. The confusion has boiled down right to who will fix the bridge, and the signboards announcing the shuttering of the ROB as well.
You do it, no, you do it
Regarding reconstruction of the bridge, WR officials said they have written to BMC after receiving warnings from IIT-Bombay, and taken up some initiatives to fix the bridge on their own. A senior WR official said that as per IIT-B's inspection report, WR has requested BMC to rebuild the bridge, whose work WR will supervise in the railway portion. However, BMC sent WR a letter on July 21, asking them to carry out the repairs in the railways section. Replying to the letter, WR again requested BMC to execute the reconstruction on an urgent basis at their level in suitable coordination with WR. Discussions are still going on in this regard. WR maintained that the BMC would have to reconstruct the entire bridge and that railways would offer all possible expertise and co-operation.
For remaking the Lower Parel ROB, interested consultants were invited to make presentations at WR's headquarters to suggest suitable methods for rebuilding the ROB.
Seven to eight consultants came in to discuss the ways and means. A WR spokesperson said designs were discussed for reconstruction, but this meeting was a part of the overall discussion for solutions to ROB problems, so that WR can upgrade their expertise on the subject.
Meanwhile, when mid-day visited the bridge on Monday evening, just hours before its closure, it spotted no indicators or signage put up to warn commuters. While one banner was put up in the corner of the bridge, it vaguely said the bridge has been proposed to be "closed for heavy vehicles" after being declared dangerous, without any mention of the date or time till when it would remain shut. The other signage was put up at the base of the Currey Road bridge. While the BMC board only mentioned heavy vehicles, the traffic police notification and directives stated that the bridge would be shut for all types of vehicles.
This ROB is a crucial one, connecting Prabhadevi and Lower Parel to Currey Road and Chinchpokli. It ferries commuters to the arterial NM Joshi road which is home to a host of corporate offices. After it is shut, the vehicles would have to be diverted either via the old Elphinstone Road bridge, or via Jacob Circle, through the Mahalaxmi bridge to pass over the railway lines.
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