THE Western Railway (WR) is set to undertake the construction of 75 foot overbridges, with 50 per cent of them likely to be commissioned by March 2019.
Speaking to the media on WR’s 67th Foundation Day on Monday General Manager A K Gupta said: “We have already constructed 10 bridges, of which two will be commissioned (opened for the public) by December 31. We aim to build 39 bridges by March 2019.” The remaining bridges are likely to be ready by 2020, he said.
Following the death of over 20 people in a stampede at Prabhadevi station (then Elphinstone Road) on WR in September last year, officials had said several new foot overbridges would be constructed along the suburban railway network. Officials said multiple tenders for construction are already in place.
Last week, WR implemented a new suburban timetable that needed cancellation of four train services at Jogeshwari station. After commuters complained, the services were reinstated.
Gupta said: “It is difficult to add train services till suitable infrastructure is created. There is a lot of demand from every corner. We have done whatever is best for the people.”
Some women commuters were against extending the ladies special local services from Vasai till Virar station. Gupta said the change had to be made as the train was not running to its full capacity.
“We are looking at removal of encroachments along the fifth and sixth lines soon so that more tracks can be laid,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Gupta inaugurated an exhibition showcasing the history of different trains and engines of the WR.
“We are looking at doubling of lines along 550 km this year. The way the projects on the WR have been sanctioned, there will be a sea change in operations in other divisions of the WR,” he said.