Army FOBs in Mumbai: It will rain woes on railway commuters
Happy that the foot overbridges at Elphinstone Road, Currey Road and Ambivli will be thrown open today? Your joy may be short-lived, according to architects and passenger associations. Reason: The bridges, built by the Army, don’t have a single sheet spread out as roof.
Instead, they have various metal sheets arranged as roof with gaps in between, which, according to experts, will lead to water leak during the monsoon.
The Indian Army handed over the three FOBs to the central and western railway on Monday. The three bridges will be thrown open to the public in the presence of Dr Subhash Bhamre, minister of state (defence ), Union railway minister Piyush Goyal, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday.
“With the gaps, people may not use the bridges during the monsoon. The railways and the Army should consider putting sheds before the rains,” said Rajeev Mishra, an architect.
The railways got the Army to build these bridges, known as Bailey bridges, after the Elphinstone Road stampede. The Army was roped in to complete the work in a time-bound manner. The bridges, extensively used during emergency and natural calamities, don’t have a roof as per their design. They are temporary and can be dismantled, if needed. “The Army builds bridges in a unique way. The railway authorities should have briefed them about Mumbai’s rains. The railway officials should make the changes,” said Subhash Gupta, president, Rail Yatri Parishad. “We had pointed out the gaps at the entrance of the FOBs, which were immediately fixed. Commuters will get wet only during heavy rain. We will review it this monsoon and then take action,” said a senior railway official, who did not wish to be named.
Army officials engaged in the construction of the FOBs said they would monitor the bridges during the monsoon. “Light rain will not lead to water leaks. There might be trouble only if there is heavy rain with wind. We will review the bridges at definite intervals,” said an Army official involved in the construction of the FOB.