Nearly five months after a foot over bridge (FOB) at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) railway station collapsed, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is still undecided over whether it should construct a bridge or a subway in place of the collapsed structure.
The Mumbai Traffic Police last month wrote to the civic body asking it whether it has decided on the construction of FOB or subway to replace the structure that collapsed in March.
“After the letter from the traffic police, we have asked BMC’s traffic department to give its remarks based on public requirements. However, there is no response yet from the traffic department because of which we are unable to decide on FOB or subway,” said a senior official from the bridges department, who did not wish to be named.
The official said that after the collapse, then municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta had commissioned a survey to decide the best option in place of the collapsed FOB. “Earlier, we were thinking of constructing a subway but there is already a pedestrian subway just 400 metres away. A traffic study can help us decide on FOB or subway,” the official added.
In the absence of the FOB, there have been complaints from commuters that they have to stand at the newly installed traffic signal for extended periods of time to cross the road. The traffic signal was installed at the spot after the collapse to facilitate the movement of people. The signal has also been blamed for causing congestion on the north-bound route.
Deputy Chief Engineer (Traffic) Atul Patil could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.
In March, the 27-year-old FOB (officially known as Himalaya Bridge) connecting the iconic CSMT station had collapsed killing six people and leaving 31 injured. BMC officials were under fire as the bridge that collapsed had been declared fit for use by the structural auditor appointed by the civic body. After the incident, the auditor, a former chief engineer and two other officials were arrested for negligence.
Following the collapse, the BMC had pulled down the remaining structure of the CSMT bridge. To deal with the pedestrian traffic, dividers on D N Road were demolished and a traffic signal was installed to help people cross the road. Later, a re-audit of about 300 bridges was conducted, which found the condition of 29 bridges as extremely dangerous. This led to the closure and demolition of most of these bridges.