The four bridges, which have been shut are G K Gokhale bridge, southern side footpath of the Kalanagar road overbridges between Mahim and Bandra railway stations, a portion of the skywalk connecting Malad railway station to the south and a road overbridge (ROB) near Vasai railway station.
Indian Railways has shut passenger and vehicular movement on four road and foot overbridges, almost a week after a portion of a bridge in Andheri, Mumbai collapsed. Out of the six bridges on the Western Railway section, four bridges have been temporarily shut for movement, including a skywalk, which has been identified as “structurally weak or corroded”, according to an IE report. The four bridges, which have been shut are G K Gokhale bridge, southern side footpath of the Kalanagar road overbridges between Mahim and Bandra railway stations, a portion of the skywalk connecting Malad railway station to the south and a road overbridge (ROB) near Vasai railway station.
On Sunday, the railways had temporarily shut a part of Pant Nagar ROB in Ghatkopar West, which is on the Central Railway section after cracks were noticed in one of its walls. The Central Railway also demolished another old and redundant ROB near Tilak Nagar station on the harbour line on Sunday.
Last week, a portion of the Gokhale bridge in Mumbai had collapsed on the tracks, which affected several train services for a day. Following the incident, an enquiry was ordered and also the Central and Western Railways conducted an inspection of all the road and foot overbridges in the suburban section. According to senior railway officials, the unauthorized surface construction and wires had increased load on the cantilever bridge, therefore, making it weak, the report stated.
A senior Western Railway official was quoted in the report saying that the railways is only shutting down the bridges whose condition, prima facie, appears precarious. He further said that by shutting the bridges temporarily, the railways want to take the required remedial action. For some time, the commuters will face inconvenience but, it is better to take timely action, the official stated. The official also claimed that the railways is targeting the old and corroded bridges. Among the ROBs, the railways plans to inspect how many have unauthorized surface construction and cables wired into them. The official added, the railways in another one month, plans to conduct inspection across major bridges which are either built on railway stations which see high footfall or vehicular movement.
Following the incident in Andheri, a joint inspection of 445 bridges was ordered by the Railway Minister Piyush Goyal by the railways, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) as well as a team from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai. Meanwhile, according to railway officials, IIT professors had confirmed that the girders of the bridge were not weak, which collapsed last week.