At Carnac Bunder Bridge, a major disaster is waiting to happen. In a letter to Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey on April 4th 2022, the Central railways Mumbai division stated that during a recent inspection by a bridge inspector and engineer, a distress sign was noticed in there structure of a bridge, and it was found that it is not safe for traffic considering the safety of railway passengers as well as road users.
"After recent inspection by railway Bridge inspector and engineer, It has been noticed that there is distress sign and it is not safe to permit traffic over this bride, considering the safety of Railway passengers and road users," read the letter written by divisional railway manager of CRs Mumbai division to the Mumbai police.
"The ROB needs to be dismantled on top priority, considering the safety of rail and road traffic. You are kindly requested to review the situation urgently, intervene and advise the concerned to issue NOC for closure of road traffic on Carnac ROB and permit its dismantling," further read the letter.
The Carnac ROB betwéen CSMT and Masjid Road stations is about 154years old. Heavy vehicular traffic has been stopped on the bridge since November 2013, as the steel structure of the bridge was heavily corroded.
After a safety audit by IIT Bombay in 2018, It was recommended that the ROB is to be closed and reconstructed. The Railways have carried out urgent safety repairs so that the bridge remains safe till it's dismantled.
ROB belongs to BMC. Its rebuilding will be done by BMC. It is given to understand that BMC has already awarded the contract for rebuilding In 2018 and the agency is ready to commence the work immediately after the dismantling of ROB by Railways.
Dy. Chief Engineer/Construction, Dadar who is in charge of dismantling work of ROB is in continuous communication with the office of Joint CP/Traffic and BMC. Even after several joint inspections and meetings, the issue of closure of Carnac ROB has remained unsolved.
This road overbridge passes over the railway lines between CST and Masjid railway stations and had been shut since 2013 after it was declared weak and unsafe for plying heavy vehicles.
CR officials are worried about the unsafe condition of this bridge built in 1868, and at a recent meeting, CR and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation authorities agreed on the need for its immediate demolition. Officials said the bridge will be dismantled by the railways and then will be reconstructed by BMC. The Railways is now waiting for a no-objection certificate (NoC) from the traffic police to begin the work.
Confirming the development Shivaji Sutar, CPRO, CR said, "It was stressed upon the current condition of ROB and requested to issue NOC for closure of the ROB to start dismantling by Railways".
Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Rajvardhan Sinha said, "We had informed the Railway authorities that work on the Hancock Bridge needs to be completed first. Once it is opened up, the Carnac Bridge can be closed. The Hancock Bridge work should be completed in 10 to 15 days and once that is done, we are more than willing to issue the NOC for the Carnac Bridge."