Crumbling bridges still on the brink

Though the BMC, CR dispute over the reconstruction of Carnac and Hancock bridges has been resolved, work is yet to commence

Mumbai : More than two months after the dispute between the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Central Railway (CR) over the reconstruction of the crumbling bridges of Carnac and Hancock was resolved, with the civic body agreeing to finance the expenditure, work is yet to commence.

BMC is awaiting a reply from the city’s traffic police department, for chalking out a plan for the complete shutting down of vehicular and pedestrian traffic on the two major bridges of the city.

Hancock Bridge is at Tadwadi, Mazgaon. The Carnac overbridge, which lies between Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and Masjid Station, connects P D’mello Road to Carnac Bunder.

British-era Carnac and Hancock Bridge were declared dangerous more than a year ago. BMC wanted the railways to chip in for the portion of the bridges above the railway tracks as they were built during the British time. The dispute between the BMC and railways remained unresolved for last six months. This newspaper was the first to report (FPJ on March 21, 2014) that the issue was resolved as the BMC had undertaken to finance the reconstruction of the two bridges.

On this issue a joint meeting of the BMC, CR officials and the Mumbai traffic police department a meeting was held on May 26. Following the meeting, civic officials wrote to the traffic department, requesting them to schedule a complete shutdown of vehicular and pedestrian movement on both bridges.

SO Kori, chief engineer (bridges) of the BMC said, “The CR wanted to demolish the bridges before the onset of a full-fledged monsoon. However, we are still to hear from the traffic department of when they can accommodate the shutdown of the two bridges. There is heavy pedestrian and vehicular traffic on these bridges. Only after the bridges are closed to traffic can the CR start with the demolition of the portion of the bridges, that run over and across the railway stations.”

Additional Commissioner of police, traffic, Qaiser Khalid said, “We have to consider issues such as diversions, alternate movement of vehicles, traffic volumes on the bridges that he are to be repaired. Then we will put up signages and deploy traffic policemen. There is a set procedure for such requests from the BMC. We need to ensure people are not trapped and have to consider several issues before we give a nod for the work.”

Sachin Unhalekar

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