The Central Railway (CR) has started the process of replacing 11 foot over bridges (FOBs), including three century-old bridges. These structures fall under the BMC and are located between CSMT-Mulund and CSMT-Mankhurd sections. Most of them have completed their lifespan.
The Gunpowder Road FOB, between Dockyard and Reay Road stations, was built in 1923 during British rule. Another one to be replaced is Bhandari FOPB, between CSMT and Masjid; it was built in 1915. Similarly, the north end of the FOB at Masjid station, which was built in 1922, will also be replaced.
Besides, Dharavi FOB between Matunga and Sion, Matunga workshop FOB, another one between Matunga and Sion, Bhandup and Nahur, Nahur and Mulund, Kanjurmarg and Bhandup, and near Mulund station are also included in this list. An old public FOB near GTB Nagar is also included in this list.
Asked about the present condition of these FOBs, an official said, “According to the audit report of IIT-Bombay, necessary maintenance works at all these structures is already finished, but as most of these have already completed their lifespan there is a need to replace them soon.”
The tender for dismantling and reconstruction of these FOBs will be uploaded by next week. The estimated cost of dismantling/reconstructing them is around Rs 135 crore which will be funded by the MCGM.
A CR official who is monitoring the project said, “Work of dismantling/ reconstruction will be started in March 2021 in a phased manner, which will be completed by 2023.”
Between CSMT and Kalyan and CSMT and Mankhurd, the CR has around 140 FOBs. Of these, 14 BMC-managed bridges have almost completed their lifespans. In the first phase, the CR has decided to replace 11 of these; the replacement process for the remaining three will start in 2022.
In 2019, the railways had requested the BMC to deposit funds for the reconstruction of these BMC bridges over the railway track. The civic body has deposited Rs 10 crore as the initial amount and has requested it to take up the reconstruction work.
After the partial collapse of an ROB on July 3, 2018, Piyush Goyal, then railways minister, had ordered a safety audit of all the 445 bridge structures in Mumbai, including road over bridges (RoBs), FOBs, and bridges next to railway tracks. The audit was conducted by IIT-Bombay along with officials from the CR, the WR, The BMC, and other civic body officials.
(If you have a story in and around Mumbai, you have our ears, be a citizen journalist and send us your story here. )