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Army to Help Rebuild Mumbai’s Elphinstone Bridge; Punjab CM Amarinder Singh Lashes Out

Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal visited the Elphinstone Road station where the collapse of a foot overbridge had killed 23 people last month.

Uday Singh Rana |

Updated:October 31, 2017, 2:07 PM IST
Army to Help Rebuild Mumbai’s Elphinstone Bridge; Punjab CM Amarinder Singh Lashes Out
File photos of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Punjab CM Amarinder Singh. (PTI Photos)
New Delhi: The Army has been roped in to help rebuild three foot overbridges (FOB), including the one in Mumbai where a stampede last month killed 23 people, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told the press on Tuesday.

His comments came after Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who were in Mumbai on Tuesday, visited the site of the collapse.

The move, however, drew a sharp reaction from Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, who implored Sitharaman not to divert defence resources to civilian jobs.

“We are taking the Army’s help in building a new FOB at the Elphinstone Road station and at two other suburban train stations in Mumbai. I have been informed that the work on these bridges will be completed by January 31,” Fadnavis told reporters at the venue.

After his visit, Piyush Goyal, too, tweeted and said, “After the unfortunate incident at Elphinstone Rd Station, a report was made for safety of commuters. Now action is being taken #MumbaiThanksArmy. Armed Forces to help in constructing 3 FOBs at Elphinstone Rd, Currey Rd & Ambivali Stations. Work to be done by 31 Jan’18 #MumbaiThanksArmy. #MumbaiThanksArmy for coming to the aid of the Nation. Grateful to RM @nsitharaman for immediately responding to our call for help,” Goyal tweeted.

Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh, who is also an ex-serviceman, did not take kindly to this development.

Singh tagged both the Indian Army Twitter handle (@adgpi) and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in his tweet and said, “The @adgpi job is to train for war, not to be used for civilian works @nsitharaman ji. Don’t divert defence resources to civilian jobs. You’re doing what General Kaul did with the 4th Div before 1962 war with China. It will set a very bad precedent. Pls avoid.”

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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