Mumbai: Railway Minister Piyush Goyal today visited suburban Elphinstone Road and Currey Road stations to take stock of ongoing construction of the Foot Over Bridges (FOBs) by the Army and expressed satisfaction over the pace of the work.
Goyal discussed the nitty-gritty of the Elphinstone Road FOB and gave necessary directions to officials.
General Managers of Central Railway and Western Railway and other officials were present on the occasion.
Engineers from the Army recently started work on three FOBs at suburban stations in Mumbai. Apart from Elphinstone Road station and Currey Road stations, an FOB will also be built at Ambivli station.
The Army was roped in to construct the FOBs after 23 people lost their lives in a deadly stampede on the staircase of the existing narrow FOB linking Elphinstone Road and Parel railway stations in September this year.
“I am extremely happy with the pace of work being executed by the Army and Railway officials at the Elphinstone Road station. I feel the work will be completed ahead of the schedule,” Goyal told reporters.
To a query on why Army was asked to construct the FOBs, a civil task, the minister said the Railways lacked the fleet of workers which is necessary to execute such projects.
“Indian Army has a dedicated work force that has the expertise in executing the projects under challenging circumstances, which is not the case with the Railways,” Goyal said.
Once the construction of the FOBs is over, senior officers of all the 17 zones of the Railways will learn about the execution of such projects from the Army.
To a specific query, he said the work of the Currey Road FOB has been delayed due to some technical glitches.
“Availability of land at the western side of the Currey Road station is difficult. It is a piece of private land whose owner has refused to part with it. I have spoken to BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) commissioner and the land acquisition process has begun,” he said.
The minister today boarded a local train for a first time since he took charge as Railway Minister in September this year and interacted with passengers.
In his maiden ride, Goyal travelled from Parel railway station to Currey Road and to CSMT.