Lesson Learnt From Elphinstone Stampede–Western Railways Builds 75 Foot Overbridges in Mumbai, Combats Trespassing

A foot overbridge in Mumbai (Kunal Patil/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The Western Railways has embarked upon an ambitious project of building 75-foot overbridges (FOBs) and has set an aggressive target of commissioning 50 per cent of these by March 2019, DNA has reported.

After two major tragic incidents - Elphinstone stampede and Andheri bridge collapse, the Western Railways faced tremendous criticism for inadequate infrastructure and appalling passenger facilities. Following the incident, it conducted an audit of bridges for which IIT Bombay was roped in.

In 2017-18, Western Railways constructed 10 bridges. It will build and commission another 39 bridges by March 2019. The remaining bridges are likely to be ready by 2020.

The railway authorities have planned 25 additional FOBs come 2019-20 which shall be built both at stations and locations between them where there is heavy trespassing and encroachments on tracks. Majority of these that is 17 FOBs will be constructed by Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation during this period.

Western railways is also planning to intersect the FOBs in a manner so that people need not walk down on the platform unless they want to catch trains. Sources said that they are also identifying fresh locations where trespassing is happening regularly so that these can be plugged. The authorities are building cement concrete walls along the tracks — with a hope that these are not broken down by encroaches.

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