6 Killed, 33 Injured After Foot Overbridge Collapse In South Mumbai; Where Does The Buck Stop?
Six people died and 33 injured after a portion of foot overbridge collapsed near the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) in south Mumbai. The 31-year-old bridge collapsed at 7:31 PM on March 14. The police has registered cases against Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Railway officials for negligence. The Maharashtra government announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the family of the dead and Rs 50,000 for the injured.
The bridge links the CST railway station to the Azad Maidan police station and the Times of India building and is used by 1.5-2 lakh pedestrians every day. It was declared “fit to use” by safety audit conducted by the civic authority last year. The accident is a stark reminder of the 2017 Elphinstone stampede that claimed 22 people lives. Eyewitnesses said that a portion of the bridge was under repair, however, it was still operational.
Maharashtra minister, Vinod Tawde said, “The bridge wasn’t in bad condition, it required minor repairs for which work was underway”. An investigation is underway on why the bridge was in use, during the repair work. Maharashtra Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis has ordered immediate safety audits for 445 foot-overbridges.
Shortly after the collapse, the joint commissioner of police, Devan Bharti said that a case under Section 304 (A) of the Indian Penal Code has been lodged against the BMC and the railway officials. He said that more stringent sections will be evoked on those found guilty of negligence. A Central Railway spokesperson, blaming the BMC said that while the collapsed portion was connected to the station, it was in the BMC’s jurisdiction.
No Lesson Learnt
- On July 3, 2008, a pedestrian part of Gokhale road over-bridge (ROB) collapsed on Andheri station killing 2 and injuring 3.
- On October 14, a person was injured when stairs of foot over-bridge near Charni Road station in Mumbai, collapsed.
- On February 9, 2017, a skywalk in Dahisar station crashed, injuring one.
The Logical Indian Take
6 people lost their life in Mumbai foot-over bridge collapse, to a tragedy that could have been averted. The logical Indian asks, how long before the authorities finally wake to the horrors of the man-made disaster? While the BMC and railway officials are squabbling over jurisdiction, where does the buck stop?