Mumbai: There was growing clamour to reconstruct the Himalaya foot over bridge (FOB) – which provided safe crossover at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) – after it collapsed in 2019, killing seven. The new FOB was finally made operational last month, however, it has been observed that not many people use it and instead prefer crossing busy roads, while risking their lives.
Know why pedestrians are not taking new FOB:
The reason why pedestrians are avoiding the bridge could be a missing staircase at the CSMT end. The FOB provides direct entry to the station hence those wanting to go elsewhere have no option but to go inside the station and then exit it. This detour is apparently deterring pedestrians from taking the FOB. Meanwhile, the BMC is planning to install escalators on the bridge for the convenience of senior citizens, women, children and specially-disabled persons.
Sujata Sanap, ex-corporator from the area, said, “We have also noticed pedestrians crossing the road. We have informed the BMC's bridges department to construct a staircase outside the railway station so that people who don't want to go inside the station can alight on the footpath. What's happening is that those who want to go towards Crawford Market, don't use the Himalaya bridge.” The BMC officers said that the footpath outside the station is in the railways jurisdiction and it isn't allowing the civic body to construct a staircase, Sanap added.
New bridge constructed after four years
On March 14, 2019, the 35-m-long and 6-m-wide Himalaya bridge collapsed, after which four years went into the construction of the new FOB at the cost of ₹7 crore. The fatal mishap prompted the BMC to undertake structural audits of all FOBs, skywalks and flyovers in the city. Based on the audit reports, the civic body has also initiated repair work of several structures.
Himalaya bridge assumed the new identity of Kasab bridge after 26/11 terror attacks. Ajmal Kasab and his accomplice Abu Ismail Khan crossed this FOB to reach the Cama And Albless Hospital.
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