The blame game between the Shiv Sena and Congress began hours after the collapse of a portion of the foot overbridge connecting Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus’ platform no. 1 to BT lane near Anjuman Islam School.
Shiv Sena MP Anil Desai claimed the bridge does not belong to the Sena-ruled BMC. Sena leaders and party corporators claimed the railways was responsible for its maintenance. “The Sena had written to railway authorities a few years ago suggesting repairs to the bridge. However, railway authorities did not act on it. So, the railways is responsible for the mishap,” said Sujata Sanap, Sena corporator.
Vinod Tawde, Minister for Education and guardian minister for Mumbai Suburban district, said that it was not that the bridge was in a very bad condition. “Some minor repairs had been suggested by the BMC. Why was the bridge not shut till repairs could be undertaken is a question that will be probed by the BMC and railways,” said Tawde.
Railway authorities said the bridge belongs to the BMC. “Himalaya bridge is not under railway jurisdiction, it totally belongs to the BMC,” Central Railway Chief PRO Sunil Udasi said.
MNS chief Raj Thackeray said his party had taken out a protest at Western Railway headquarters following the Elphinstone Road stampede. “While the railways had assured us of carrying out the audit of bridges, it also demanded cooperation from the civic body. So, I then met the civic chief but it seems nothing has happened. It is sad that the authorities do not understand the lawful way of raising the issues,” said Raj.
Former Union minister and Congress leader Milind Deora questioned the audit report of the civic body. Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha said that every pedestrian was now going to be scared before walking over any bridge. Waris Pathan, MIM legislator from Byculla, slammed the government for ignoring repairs to bridges.