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Bombay HC Directs BMC, Railways to Conduct Joint Audit of All Bridges to Avert Tragedy

The court also directed the state and Union government to take cognisance of the increasing population and make plans for the public transport system by exploring the possibility of water transport in the future.

Radhika Ramaswamy | CNN-News18

Updated:July 12, 2018, 11:05 PM IST
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Bombay HC Directs BMC, Railways to Conduct Joint Audit of All Bridges to Avert Tragedy
The order came in the wake of the Andheri bridge collapse and the Elphinstone tragedy. (PTI)
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Mumbai: In an attempt to put an end to the blame game between railways and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in the event of an infrastructural tragedy in Mumbai, the Bombay high court on Thursday directed both the authorities to conduct a joint audit of all the 487 Rail Over Bridges (ROBs) and Foot Over Bridges (FOBs).

A division bench of justice Naresh Patil and justice Girish Kulkarni was hearing a PIL on the September 29 Elphinstone bridge stampede that left 23 dead and several injured. The directions also came in the light of the Gokhale ROB collapse at Andheri on July 3 in which one person was killed and four injured.

The court directed the state and Union government to take cognisance of the increasing population and make plans for the public transport system by exploring the possibility of water transport in the future.

The counsel for the railways informed the court about the construction of two new bridges, one by the army and another by the railways, to take care of the peak-hour rush.

Additional solicitor general Anil Singh informed the court that an audit was carried out last year on the durability of various FOBs and ROBs and reports of the same had been maintained.

The bench expressed its dissatisfaction over the measures being taken and directed the railways and BMC to conduct a joint audit of all the structures instead of putting the onus of maintaining the bridges, skywalks and flyovers on each other.

The bench, while referring to reports of women commuters suffering more injuries during travel, suggested that the railways allot an entire bogey as a first-class compartment for them on a pilot basis. The court also directed the two authorities to work in coordination with each other and ensure that hawkers are evicted from FOBs and skywalks so that people can use them without any hassle.

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