Go easy on these bridges during Ganeshotsav

Published on Aug 27, 2022 12:57 AM IST

In anticipation of a huge turnout of people during Ganeshotsava, after a gap of two years due to the pandemic-induced lockdown, and past mishaps, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has put out a list of 13 bridges in Mumbai and the suburbs where overcrowding should be avoided as they are in a precarious condition

Aerial view of the rail over bridge at Chinchpokli (Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo)
Aerial view of the rail over bridge at Chinchpokli (Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo)

In anticipation of a huge turnout of people during Ganeshotsava, after a gap of two years due to the pandemic-induced lockdown, and past mishaps, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has put out a list of 13 bridges in Mumbai and the suburbs where overcrowding should be avoided as they are in a precarious condition.

All 13 are Road over Bridges (RoB), which include Bellassis Bridge in Mumbai Central, Kennedy Railway Bridge between Grant Road and Charni Road, French Railway Bridge in Grant Road, Sandhurst Road Railway Bridge, and the Marine Lines Railway Bridge. Other RoBs are in Currey Road, Byculla and Ghatkopar.

BMC has also mandated that the maximum weight on-board on the three bridges at Arthur Road, Byculla and Chinchpokli should not exceed 16 tonnes at any given time.

Additional municipal commissioner P Velrasu said the bridges have been listed as dilapidated as a precautionary measure to avert accidents.

“This year people will celebrate Ganapati festival properly, having missed it for two years. There will be traffic and huge crowds. We have issued the advisory to festival organisers and local authorities as a precaution. It is not as if they are ready to collapse any moment now,” Velrasu told HT on Friday.

Satish Thosar, chief engineer from the bridges department, said all 13 bridges are over 100 years old. “We have scrutinised these structures before issuing the advisory. Overcrowding should be avoided and people should also not carry large Ganpati idols through them,” Thosar said, adding the bridges are under the railways department.

“We have forwarded our advisory to the railways as they are the official owners and any decision of redevelopment lies with them,” he said.

Most of these 13 bridges are in central and South Mumbai – the Maharashtrian heartlands of the city – where Ganeshotsava is celebrated with enormous pomp and fervour. Organisers have assured that they will take precautionary measures, Thosar added.

“We will request local mandals and organisers not to hold processions on these bridges and avoid dancing and overcrowding on them. I am sure everyone will cooperate with the administration,” said Naresh Dahibavkar, president of the Birhanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsava Samanvyay Samiti, the umbrella association of Ganesh mandals. A ward officer has assured alternate routes will be mapped before the days of immersion, with an advisory to avoid overcrowding.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president from Mumbai, Ashish Shelar, demanded that BMC propose alternate routes, in a series of tweets.

BMC data states that 3,487 applications for permissions of Ganeshotsava were received this year till 6:30 pm on Friday, of which 2,220 have been approved and 474 rejected. Others are under scrutiny.

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