OVER A month after the Army was tasked with making three foot overbridges (FOBs) for Mumbai’s suburban railway, its technical designs are yet to be submitted to the Railways. Railway officials have raised concern over the Army possibly missing their deadline of constructing the bridges by January 31 if the submission of designs takes any longer. Senior officials from the Army, however, said the designs will be submitted at the earliest.
“We will submit them soon,” said a Bombay Sappers officer without divulging the details of the progress of the technical designs. Officers from the Bombay Sappers — a military wing in Pune — will construct three foot overbridges at Parel and Elphinstone Road stations, Currey Road and Ambivali stations. They have started preparatory works on making the bridges.
The technical design of the bridges will consist of land evaluation, equipment required and a perfect calculation of the width and length of the bridges to be made. The Army had submitted the General Arrangement Drawings (GAD) of the bridges, a prerequisite to making designs, to the Railways on November 15. Railway officials believe making designs after GAD should not take more than a week.
“This is the first time that the Army is making bridges on land which is not a green field. Continuous movement of trains, presence of tracks and estimation of how far the bridges must be constructed from the platform of the railway station are certain challenges they face while making their designs. While they had submitted the design of the bridge to be made between Parel and Elphinstone Road stations last week, it did not fulfill the criteria,” a senior Railway official said.
Railway officials pointed out technical errors with the dimension and the structural details of the designs of the bridge as submitted to them by the Army. Officials have asked for more details of the level of tracks, material being used and the passenger load the bridges could take. “We had to submit the technical designs back to them as we wanted more details in it. It has been a week since we submitted the designs to them. While a meeting was called with their design team to sort out the issues, it could not happen,” the official added.
In a meeting held on Tuesday at Churchgate, the Railways asked the Army to submit the designs at the earliest. “It is necessary that the details are submitted at the earliest. The Railways can assist them in correcting the problems and guide them in the work to be done. As the accuracy of designs play an important role in the construction of the bridges, we are asking them to speed it up,” an official added.
The Army is set to submit the designs of two bridges — corrected version of Parel-Elphinstone bridge and Currey Road station — by Wednesday to the Railways. Railway officials are expected to visit the track site on Wednesday morning to inspect the foundation work for the construction of the bridges. “A railway official is expected to visit their design team in Pune on Thursday. The official could then brief them about the details of the design required and guide them further,” an official said.