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CST bridge fit to use, suggested audit report

March 2019
The foot over bridge (FOB) connected to Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) railway station had collapsed on Thursday evening. The mishap has reportedly claimed six lives, while injured several others. 

Reportedly, the bridge was declared fit to use in an audit report which was submitted six months ago by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The bridge collapse has raised concerns over the safety certificate issued by the BMC and the quality of the whole survey exercise itself. 

Reports suggest that the contractors, who were selected by the municipal corporation, had audited all the 314 bridges, subways and skywalks in Mumbai. Ajoy Mehta reportedly commented to look into the matter and has assured to take further course of action.

The FOB was reportedly last repaired in 2010-11 and was constructed around 35 years ago. In 2016, under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the northern end of the bridge was taken up for beautification such as changing of tiles and new paints but not repairs. 

Reportedly, the said survey was actuated after a bridge on the Mumbai-Goa highway collapsed in 2016 and the report was submitted to the civic commissioner. However, it was only after the Elphinstone Road tragedy which claimed 22 lives and Gokhale Bridge collapse that killed two people in 2018 that the BMC had published the audit report.

That said, the civic body in January this year had finally authorised repairs of more than 50 bridges, flyovers, FOBs and skywalks costing Rs 650 million. Out of 314 bridges, the audit report had endorsed the demolition and reconstruction of only 14 bridges, including five FOBs, major repairs to 47 others and minor repairs of another 176. The remaining 77 bridges were reportedly pronounced to be in sound condition.

Reports suggest that only three FOBs in South Mumbai which include Yellow Gate FOB and two FOBs near the Marine Lines railway station were to be rebuilt.