A 67-year-old man was injured after four steps of a “dilapidated” road overbridge for pedestrians collapsed at Charni Road Station on Saturday evening. The incident, reported to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) at 8.48 pm, took place days after people had protested against the delay in renovating the overbridge.
Dongar Rao Singh, sustained minor injuries on his wrist. The overbridge is towards the southern end of Charni Road Station, and connects Thakurdwar area to the railway station. “We had warned about the condition of the bridge time and again to the authorities. We had even staged a street play on Monday to raise concern it,” Amit Bhadricha, a commuter, said.
Locals said they have often complained about how the bridge would vibrate when trains passed by. “It was in such a bad state that we would only use it for emergency. We have warned that this was a disaster waiting to happen,” he added.
BMC officials said reconstruction of the bridge was under way, after the bridge was declared a “dilapidated” structure in May. A contractor had begun work on dismantling the bridge but the work was suspended last week due to a “technical issue”.
“We had declared the bridge dilapidated as it was old and not in a proper condition. However, we had stopped the work last week as some high tension wires of the railways were underneath the landing side of the bridge towards the road. The Western Railway has now extended us their co-operation to continue the work,” Vishwas Mote, Assistant Municipal Commissioner, B Ward, said.
Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant, who had inspected the bridge on Saturday morning, said, “I, along with some other officials of the BMC, had taken a walk on the bridge on Saturday morning itself. I had sent several warnings to the BMC officials concerned to take action.”
“We always want to ensure safety of commuters. The agency involved in this case here is the BMC and they should do their part,” said Ravinder Bhaker, Chief Public Relations Officer, Western Railway.