Central Railway to demolish eight FOBs by April end

Neeraj Tiwari
The Central Railway called for the demolition and dismantling of eight old foot overbridges that have outlived their age. (Express Photo: Prashant Nadkar)

THE COLLAPSE of the Himalaya bridge near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) on March 14 has prompted the Central Railway to dismantle eight foot overbridges (FOB) by April 30, well ahead of an earlier deadline of August 30.

The Central Railway called for the demolition and dismantling of eight old foot overbridges that have outlived their age. The railways have issued work orders for dismantling of old footbridges at Diva, Bhandup, Govandi, Tilaknagar, Vikroli, Wadala, Vidyavihar and Kurla Kasaiwada stations.

Officials said alternate arrangements will be made for commuters.

"Every week, one FOB will be demolished. This was planned much in advance and tenders were floated before the CSMT FOB collapse," said Sunil Udasi, chief public relations officer, Central Railway. He said by the end of April, they will be able to finish the demolition work, adding that alternate arrangements were in place so the demolition of these structures will not pose a problem to commuters.

Nearly a year after the Gokhale bridge collapse at Andheri, Central Railway have completed auditing 276 of its 299 structures. A team of officials from IIT-B and Central Railway started the inspections a week after the bridge collapsed on July 3. Of these 299 bridges, 89 were road overbridges (ROB), 191 were FOBs and 19 were classified as other structures.

A Central Railway official said 81 ROBs and 178 FOBs had undergone inspection while 23 bridges that were yet to be inspected included 17 other structures, eight ROBs and 13 FOBs. Officials said they will be completing the task before March 31.

Western Railway has 144 overhead structures under its jurisdiction. Of these, 115 FOBs and 29 ROBs have been audited. According to recommendations, Lower Parel bridge had been demolished and eight FOBs will be pulled down in phases by June 30, a senior Western Railway official said, adding that they had decided to repair the staircase of the FOB at Khar station, which was the property of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.