Pipeline across Kopar station unsafe
A bridge supporting a water pipeline across the railway track at Kopar is dilapidated, with portions of weak slabs falling on the track.
The railways have put a net on the weak portions.
Commuters have been highlighting the problem to the railways, asking them to repair it.
The water pipeline passes over the tracks and crosses the service road parallel to the tracks on the west side of Kopar station. Hundreds of trains pass under the bridge every day.
Commuters said that around seven months ago a portion of the slab under the pipeline had fallen. The railways only placed a net under the weak slab.
Kopar station sees around 30,000 commuters every day.
Sarika Mohite, 30, a resident of Kopar (West), said, “Around seven months ago, a portion of the slab supporting the pipeline fell on the service road. No one was injured but a parked vehicle was damaged.”
Railway officials said the 250-metre pipeline was built around 35 years ago.
Mohite said, “The service road sees continuous flow of vehicles and pedestrians as it is the connecting road to the railway station. After this incident, the railways covered the portion with a net. This is hardly a solution.”
S Ramchandran, 36, another resident of Kopar, said, “The railways should either dismantle or repair the pipeline immediately. This is a risk to commuters.”
The railway authorities have been dilly-dallying on the problem.
A railway official from Dombivli section said the bridge’s dilapidated condition has not been taken forward to senior officials. “The bridge is around 35 years old. We will write to the seniors about the bridge. The portion which is weak has been covered with a net so that concrete does not fall down,” said a railway official from Dombivli.
With the railways dragging its feet, commuters feel unsafe.
“I am scared to travel on the route. The net already has pieces of concrete. How long will it hold? The railways should act urgently. It would be more dangerous after it starts raining,” said Dayanand Gaikwad, 40, a resident of Kopar (West).
In 2009, a girder of an under-construction road overbridge at Kopri fell, killing two and injuring 11. The girder fell on a moving CSMT-Kalyan local between Mulund and Thane stations.
Commuters from Kopar also demanded widening of the foot overbridge towards Kalyan and build a new one at CSMT-end to curb trespassing.
“There is only one footoverbridge at Kopar station. One more is needed for east-west connect. As commuters are increasing, the foot overbridge needs to be widened,” said Ramchandran.
“The railways has sanctioned building a new foot overbridge and widening the old one. We are also building a safety wall to curb trespassing,” said a railway official from Dombivli section.
“The railways should keep a regular check on the old structures under its jurisdiction. The water pipeline passing over the track and service road needs immediate attention. The crumbling cement slab could lead to a mishap. Instead of waiting for a tragedy to happen, the railways should carry out the structural audit of the structure and take measures accordingly,” said Nandkumar Deshmukh, president of railway passengers’ association, Thane.