Railways, BMC play blame game

ST Correspondent
Wednesday, 4 July 2018

As soon as the Gokhale bridge at Andheri collapsed, the railway administration and the civic body started passing the buck to each other. Mumbai Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar visited the accident site immediately after the collapse and said that though the bridge is under BMC’s jurisdiction, it is the Railways’ job to maintain it and the BMC pays the Railways for it.

Mumbai: As soon as the Gokhale bridge at Andheri collapsed, the railway administration and the civic body started passing the buck to each other. Mumbai Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar visited the accident site immediately after the collapse and said that though the bridge is under BMC’s jurisdiction, it is the Railways’ job to maintain it and the BMC pays the Railways for it.

The incident took place amid heavy rains in the city bringing local train services of the Western Railway to a halt. “It was Railways’ responsibility to check if the bridge was in good condition or not. BMC is not responsible for the incident,” Mahadeshwar said. 

However, the Railways issued a press note claiming that the bridge was under BMC. Rabindra Bhaskar, Chief PRO of the Western Railway said that the bridge belongs to the BMC and it was not the responsibility of the Railways to maintain it. 

Vijay Singhal, Additional Commissioner of BMC, refuted all the claims made by the Railways saying the BMC is paying every year for maintenance of the bridges which passes through the railway area. 

“The BMC had made payment of Rs 23 lakh to the Railways for the maintenance of this Ghokhale bridge last year,” he said.  

Meanwhile, Congress leader and President of the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee Sanjay Nirupam said that Indian Railways has failed to learn from the previous incidents of Elphinstone bridge tragedy.

Nationalist Congress party leader Nawab Malik has accused the Railways of a false claim and demanded an inquiry into the matter.

Meanwhile. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced that action will be taken against those responsible for it. “If there was a decision of structural audit of these bridges, then why it was delayed. That will be probed,” he said.

Amidst the blame game over the incident, local MLA Ameet Satam (BJP) said instead of playing politics, the authorities must focus on resuming train services and health of the injured.

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