Make 19 RoBs lighter, remove utility wires, tar coat, WR tells Mumbai civic body

The Western Railway (WR) has asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to remove the “dead weight of utilities and excess weight of tar” that have weakened 19 rail overbridges along the line.

After a part of the Andheri’s Gokhale bridge collapsed on July 3, 2018, both the Central and Western Railway appointed a team of experts from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) to inspect 445 bridges that cross the railway tracks in the city.

So far, the civic body has received reports for 23 bridges. Of these 23, four are located on the CR line and 19 on WR.

Earlier, the CR had asked the BMC to reduce the load on four road overbridges in their jurisdiction, namely Byculla

bridge, Arthur Road bridge, Ghatkopar bridge and Currey Road bridge.

The 19 bridges include the Hindi Vidya Bhavan, Charni Road, Charni Road Thakurdwar and Dadar South MCGM and 10 ROBs at Marine Lines, Grant Road-Ferere, Sandhurst Road, French ROB (between Grant road and Charni Road), Kennedy Bridge, Falkland Bridge, Belasis near Mumbai Central station, Mahalaxmi ROB, Prabhadevi Carol ROB and Dadar-Tilak ROB.

“We have just got this list of 23 bridges and have ordered ward-level authorities to remove the utilities. It is now between the ward and service provider to arrange for alternatives. In case of the excess tar, the road department must remove the earlier layer and resurface the road with a fresh coat of tar. Most of these bridges were built between 1900 and 1925. The dead weight will weaken the structures,” said a senior civic official from the bridges department.

He said work on these bridges will take place at night and during the dry spell to avoid any traffic congestion.

The authorities will float tenders for the job and it could take another month for the weight to be removed.

An assistant municipal commissioner from the western suburbs said, “Often the bridges department, ward officials or railways allow utilities to be laid without adequate permissions. However, it always has a condition of revoking the permission if need be. The utilities can be laid later through a parallel culvert.”

SN Patankar, former chief engineer, roads department, said, “The utilities do not necessarily weigh down the bridge, but the digging of trenches in an unsystematic way weakens it.”

First Published:
May 29, 2019 00:17 IST

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