Mushroom growth of repair shops under the Bhopal’s Chetak railway overbridge (ROB) in Bhopal’s MP Nagar area is a risk to the bridge and the people alike as the shopkeepers use inflammable gases and heavy hammering to get the jobs done, experts said.
They feared a Vivekananda Flyover-like tragedy, which had left over 20 people dead in Kolkata, if a proper monitoring was not done while allotting the shops.
There are around 25 shops under overbridge which deal in refrigerator, AC and automobile repairs.
Compressors and cylinders can cause damage if they burst
Refrigerators and automobiles in particular have compressors and cylinders respectively in them which can burst causing a severe damage not only to the ROB but also to the shopkeepers and passersby.
A shopkeeper said these shops were allotted to them on a lease by the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC).
The agreement was renewed after a fixed time. He claimed most of the shops have been given to a third person on rent by the original lessee.
Mohammed Baseer,65, of Kargil Nagar said he had been residing for more than 30 years near the bridge.
No such shop with so many equipment were there initially but printing, repairing and all kinds of businesses came up in the last one decade since MP Nagar developed as the main commercial centre of the city.
The scene is no different at Prabhat Talkies railway overbridge. There are a number of newly constructed shops waiting to be allotted. They are numbered serially and the wall all around has been white washed.
However, there are a number of houses too close to the ROB. Besides, construction work is going on the side where iron rods are piled up over the walkway with no protective shielding.
This pathway is the only way there for the persons living in the slums near the overbridge.
Social activist Abdul Jabbar says he has not witnessed any such activity near the bridges in Delhi or any other city.
They are not only risky for the bridges but also for the people nearby.