Mumbai: Bridge repair, reconstruction work moves at snail’s pace

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) bridges department has recently completed the structural audit of 296 bridges with the help of three different consultants and has found 18 bridges to be in extremely bad shape and in need of immediate attention. However, the corporation has only managed to demolish three bridges so far and begin reconstruction work on just one bridge.

Of the 18 identified rickety bridges, six are foot overbridges(FOBs) in Mumbai city and suburbs, two are rail overbridges (ROBs) and 10 are on various nullahs and city pipelines.  One of the bridges comes under the the jurisdiction of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). On September 5, the MMRDA has been informed that it had to undertake the task of repairing this bridge. Another bridge is on private land, hence the buildings proposal department has been directed to ask the private owner to repair it. For the other bridges, the BMC has appointed consultants who will submit a report to the corporation about the design plan, states a detailed report given by the bridges department to corporator Ravi Raja.

Meanwhile, the corporation is also seeking an audit report on the funds allotted to the Central and Western Railways to carry out various bridge repair works from 2010 till date. As per the records, the BMC has given Rs 19 crore to Western Railways (WR) and Rs 114 crore to Central Railways for the purpose. Ravindra Bhakar, chief public relations officer, WR, said they had provided the necessary information to the BMC. “In fact, we have asked them for payment of Rs 21 crore for ongoing work,” said Bhakar. At the time of writing, Central Railways was yet to respond to our queries.

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