Work on bridges is likely to be delayed
With more than 60 engineers from the bridges department on election duty, the repair of foot overbridges (FOBs) and subways across the city may get hit, according to civic officials.
The bridges came under scrutiny after the collapse of the Himalaya Bridge near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus on March 14 killed six people.
Engineers have been asked to check old records as a part of the inquiry into the FOB collapse, and fast-track the tendering process for bridge repairs.
“Sixty-one engineers are out on election duty. This will delay the tendering process, repairs and supervision of ongoing works. Of these 61, 31 have been given poll duty for a week, while 30 will be on election duty for the next 2-3 months, till the end of the elections,” said a senior officer from the bridges department, requesting anonymity.
Vijay Singhal, additional municipal commissioner, who heads the bridges department, said, “I had written to the election department officials concerned around February 20-25, to relieve at least half the engineers from the bridges department. After the CSMT FOB collapse, we approached them again, but didn’t get a reply. I spoke to the divisional commissioner of the election department on Wednesday. We are hoping to get a positive reply.”
An executive engineer from the bridge department said, “We are shuttling between poll and bridges department duty. Our training for polls has begun.”
Shivaji Jondhale, collector, Mumbai City, who will handle the election arrangement, said, “We are in talks with the civic body to relieve their staff. The temporary staff will now be called only twice on April 18 for final training and April 28, a day before voting in Mumbai. We can free those who are given longer duty if the BMC gives us replacement.”