While the Central Railway (CR) and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) blame each other for the collapse of the railings at the Santacruz foot overbridge, a similar bridge at Dadar is in worse condition. Sources said many hawkers have made illegal additions to the already dilapidated structure.
The railways claim that the foot overbridge belongs to the BMC and its maintenance and security is their responsibility, but the hawkers have constructed houses and godowns in the area that belongs to the railways.
These have come up to the level of the foot overbridge. Hawkers use these godowns to dump their wares when there is a raid. The illegal structures, where hawkers stay overnight, have got power connections.
“It is the responsibility of the BMC to clear the structures on the bridge. With regards to the complaint at Dadar, we shall conduct a joint operation with WR and get it cleared,” CR spokesperson S C Mudgerikar said.
“The Dadar bridge is a unique example because hawkers take advantage of the fact that the site where the the illegal structures have been built at Dadar station is a disputed area between the railway protection force of CR and Western Railway. Hence you will find a large number of hawkers and their godowns in this area, right under the railway officials’ nose,” said R H Sidhaye, a local.
Commuter Arya Ghosh said, “I was surprised by the brazenness of the hawkers who have made the roof of the railway ticket booking office, their godown and home. Can’t the railway guys see this?”
“We are trying to initiate action and have taken up the issue with the municipal commissioner,” WR spokesperson S S Gupta said.