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  Metros   Mumbai  05 Jul 2018  Danger to civic life is the BMC’s responsibilty: Bombay HC

Danger to civic life is the BMC’s responsibilty: Bombay HC

Published : Jul 5, 2018, 2:23 am IST
Updated : Jul 5, 2018, 2:23 am IST

The petition sought that the Railways take measures for better crowd management.

Bombay high court
 Bombay high court

Mumbai: Citing Tuesday’s bridge collapse incident in An-dheri, the Bombay high court on Wednesday ca-me down heavily on the BMC for not taking steps to repair dilapidated bridges in the city. The court said that the BMC couldn't shirk its responsibility by merely saying that the property belongs to the Railways.

The court made it clear that if anything affects civic life, the BMC would be held responsible. The court said that authorities did not take adequate steps till the bridge collapsed. The court was irked that so far “nobody has been held accountable” for the mishap.  

The court also asked the state government as to why it had not developed a sea-based commute system instead of relying predominantly on the Railways.

“Why do you (the state) rely only on railway tr-ansport?” the court as-ked. A division bench of Justices N. H. Patil and G. S. Kulkarni was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Smita Dhruva, president of the Indian National Con-gress, South Mumbai division, after 23 people were killed in a stampede at Elphinstone Road in September last year.

The petition sought that the Railways take measures for better crowd management.

The court said: “Yesterday again one bridge collapsed. Why are the authorities unaware about the bridge’s condition before it collapses? What is the corporation’s assessment on bridges in the city?” A corporation lawyer told the court that the Railways are responsible for the maintenance of Gokhale Bridge, not the corporation.

Irked by this, the court said: “It is unfortunate that authorities shirk their responsibility. If anything affects civic life, the BMC is responsible.”  The court added: “You (BMC) have to settle it. You can’t say it is the property of the Railways or private property. Is the Railways a foreign entity?”

While rapping the BMC on the issue the court added: “If the BMC can take action against illegal hawkers on railway premises then why they couldn’t it take responsibility of maintaining bridges.”

“If any untoward incident occurs the BMC never takes action against ward officers or corporators. The BMC needs to take stringent steps otherwise you can’t stop such incidents in future,” the court remarked.

Amicus curiae Zal Andhyarujina informed the court that the Army has constructed a foot overbridge at Elphinstone Road station. Therefore, the purpose of the PIL is served and we request the court to dispose of the PIL. The court served a notice to the Railways and asked the additional solicitor general and Advocate General to appear for the next hearing.

Tags: bombay high court, railways, bmc, gokhale bridge