Girish Pillai, Western Railway (WR) divisional manager, denied that pedestrian bridges are repaired only when their condition is hazardous to the public.
Did the pre-monsoon checks and maintenance fail? Is that why part of the foot over bridge at Santacruz nearly collapsed?
We regularly maintain such bridges and other structures. If we find the need for it, repairs are conducted immediately. The Santacruz bridge was built by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, and was illegally occupied by hawkers. They add to the load on the structure by hanging tarpaulins and stocking goods against the railings. This incident was not a failure of our maintenance process.
Then why were repairs carried out on other such bridges immediately after the incident?
The bridges at Andheri and Borivli were in bad shape; the work was part of our regular repair schedule. It’s wrong to say we react only when things are really bad. Even on these bridges, the hawkers were to blame.
Is the age of these structures a worry?
Even though the upper portion of these bridges might look weak, their bases are fine despite their age. There is no need for pedestrians to worry.