Any repairs and construction in the railway premises is carried out by them only.
Mumbai: The pedestrian pathway of the Gokhale Foot over Bridge (FoB), a part of which collapsed on Tuesday morning, has not seen repairs and maintenance work for as long as seven years. The last repairs of the bridge were carried out back in 2010-11, for which the Brihan-mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had paid Rs 23 lakh to Western Railways (WR).
According to civic officials, the BMC reimburses the cost of repairs and maintenance of all Railover-Bridges (RoBs) and FoBs in the city that fall under the railway jurisdiction. For Gokhale bridge, the civic body had released payments of Rs 21.23 lakh in March 2010 and then Rs 1.78 lakh in March 2011 for its upkeep.
“Since then we have not received any demand from the Western Railway for the Gokhale bridge. We have never stopped any payments for the repairs of RoBs in the city. As and when railways have demanded funds, we have immediately released them,” said Vijay Singhal, additional municipal commissioner.
Any repairs and construction in the railway premises is carried out by them only. The BMC cannot undertake any construction in the railway premises, as it would amo-unt to trespassing. Hence, we only provide funds for the repairs and maintenance to railways, he added.
Civic data says that the BMC has paid an amount of more than Rs 100 crore for the reconstruction and maintenance of RoBs to railways in the last four years. Of them, Rs 92 crore, which also includes the construction cost of Nahur RoB, was paid to the CR, whereas Rs 11 crore were given to WR.
“The BMC carries out repairs of only the upper surface of the bridge if needed, whereas the responsibility of maintenance of bridge structure lies with the railways only,” said Shitala Prasad Kori, chief engineer (bridges).
Mumbai Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar too has reiterated the stand that the BMC was not responsible for the mishap in any way.