Passenger load didn’t lead to CSMT FoB collapse, says CR
A high-level committee formed by the BMC had sought a reply from the zonal railways, after noting that an increase in passenger load could have been one of the reasons for the collapse of the bridge.Updated: Apr 27, 2019 04:52 IST
The Central Railway (CR), in a detailed response to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), recently said that it is not responsible for the Himalaya bridge collapse, which killed seven people and injured 31 others at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) on March 14. Contrary to BMC’s claims, increased passenger load on the bridge did not cause the incident, the CR said.
A high-level committee formed by the BMC had sought a reply from the zonal railways, after noting that an increase in passenger load could have been one of the reasons for the collapse of the bridge. The panel stated that the passenger load on the bridge had increased after CR linked Himalaya bridge to a foot overbridge (FoB) inside the terminus, connecting it to 18 platforms at CSMT.
Further, civic officials claimed CR did not obtain no-objection certificates (NOC) from BMC before constructing the FOB inside the terminus in 2014.
The zonal railway said that the collapse of the bridge has nothing to do with the number of commuters. “We have clearly stated to the civic body that the number of commuters at CSMT have decreased over the years, as passenger traffic shifted to Parel and Dadar stations. A small number of people used to enter the terminus from the now collapsed bridge, and this didn’t increase the load considerably,” said a senior CR official.
Responding to allegations regarding the NOCs, CR said that railway authorities don’t need permission from the civic body for construction of FoBs. “The question of a no-objection certificate for the bridge does not arrive, as the land belongs to railways. The railways do not require permission from BMC for construction of any bridge or structure in the railway premises. We have conveyed this to the BMC,” the official said.
In the aftermath of the bridge collapse, BMC and the firm that conducted the structural audit at the site had come under the scanner. The Azad Maidan police has so far arrested three people in the case – Neeraj Desai, whose firm Prof D D Desai’s Associates Engineering Consultants and Analysts had conducted the audit; and two civic engineers Sandeep Kakulte and Anil Patil.
First Published: Apr 27, 2019 04:52 IST