Barely seven months after it was inspected for structural safety, the Gokhale over-bridge at Andheri railway station in Mumbai collapsed today, prompting the Railway Ministry to order a probe into it.
Barely seven months after it was inspected for structural safety, the Gokhale over-bridge at Andheri railway station in Mumbai collapsed today, prompting the Railway Ministry to order a probe into it. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has asked the Commissioner of Railway Safety, Western Circle, to conduct an inquiry into the incident and submit his report within 15 days. A part of the 47-year-old over-bridge collapsed during heavy rains, disrupting train services, injuring five people.
Goyal said that during the next six months, a joint safety audit will be conducted by the Railways, the Brihamumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, at the 445 road over-bridges, foot over-bridges and bridges over pipelines in Mumbai as part of efforts to improve safety for the commuters.
An audit of this particular bridge was conducted in November 2017, Goyal said, while a spokesperson of Western Railway told PTI that “no structural flaw was found in the audit”. The structure was one of the 2,000 bridges and 550 ROBs that were thoroughly inspected last year, railway officials said.
All the bridges are inspected at least twice a year — before the monsoon and after the monsoon, they said, adding that some of the structures are inspected more frequently, depending on their condition. The railways has set a target of inspecting 10,000 bridges and 2,870 ROBs at least once over a period of five years.
The officials said after the stampede at a foot over-bridge (FOB) at the Elphinstone Road station in Mumbai in September last year, killing 23 people, all the FOBs in the Mumbai suburban area were inspected by the Western Railway and the Central Railway.
The railways had a total of 1,47,523 bridges in the country, including 2,870 ROBs, 3,422 FOBs, road under-bridges (RUBs) and subways, as of April. The probe report of the Western Railway after the Elphinstone Road stampede had blamed heavy rains and bridge collapse rumours for the incident.