Mumbai: After the CSMT foot-over bridge (FOB) collapse on Thursday night, which took the lives of six commuters, pressure from common Mumbaikars built upon Saffron party (Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party) leaders to deliver good infrastructure.
As pressure mounted, CM Devendra Fadnavis rushed to Saint George and GT Hospital where the injured had been admitted and he also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of each person who died in the mishap. He announced Rs 50,000 for injured persons and assured that the government will incur the medical expenses of these injured persons.
However, Uddhav, whose party has been in power in the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for the last three decades, was not seen at the bridge collapse site neither did he visit the hospital and he left for Amravati in Vidarbha region to address the joint meeting of Sena-BJP workers.
The reaction of the common man was ‘Where is Uddhav Thackeray’, Both the CM and Uddhav were to attend the first joint meeting at Amravati in the morning and Nagpur in the evening. But while Fadnavis chose to meet the injured persons in hospitals before leaving to Amravati, Uddhav completely ignored them despite being in the city on Thursday night and till Friday morning.
When asked why Shiv Sainiks were not seen at the spot, Arvind Sawant, Sena’s Member of Parliament (MP) from South Mumbai said, “Vibhag Pramukh Pandurang Sapkal and his team rushed to the spot immediately once they came to know about the incident. The team was there till late night and helped shift injured persons to the hospitals.” However, he refused to comment upon why party chief Uddhav did not visit the spot and the hospital.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, meanwhile, demanded that the authorities who are responsible for the mishap should publish the ‘White Paper’ on the conditions of FOBs and Road Over Bridges (ROB). Pawar said, “The mishap incident is distressing.
Everyday at least 11 to 15 commuters die and at least 2000 commuters get injured every year in railway-related accidents. In such a situation, we do not need a bullet train worth Rs 1.25 lakh crore. Instead we need to improve and strengthen the railway infrastructure.” He added that the Centre and the state should take this issue seriously to save lives of commuters.
Showing a letter sent by the railway authorities to the Executive Engineer of Public Works Department (PWD) dated November 8, 2015, Pawar pointed out that the issue of the dilapidated bridge that crosses Eastern Express Highway has yet not been resolved. “There is a need to inspect each and every FOB and ROB and a probe should be conducted into the mishap,” said Pawar.
Ashok Chavan, president of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee and Dhananjay Munde, leader of Opposition held the government responsible for the incident. “The government is insensitive,” he alleged. He added that the state ignored his demand for an audit of FOBs. Chavan demanded that the BMC commissioner and Mayor should be sacked immediately.