Mon, 18 Mar, 2019

After Mumbai tragedy, foot over-bridges at Vasco under scanner

Story: The | Goan | 16th March 2019, 03:57 Hrs

VASCO: Questions have been raised on the structural integrity of the railway foot over-bridge in Vasco, a day after the collapse of the foot over-bridge near the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station had left six people killed and more than 30 others injured.
Vasco has two foot over-bridges, where one old foot over-bridge connects the city with Baina and the other foot over-bridge connects Vasco with Drivers Hill and areas of Mangor.
Both the foot over-bridges on an average have over 10,000 footfalls on a daily basis, especially students who use the foot over-bridge connecting Vasco and Baina.
Since Vasco houses various key government and municipal offices, the police station and other departments, a lot of people in and around the suburbs use the foot over-bridge to reach Vasco as a shortcut.
Though both the FOBs are maintained by the South Western Railway (SWR), local residents feel there is an urgent need to adopt safety measures as the foot over-bridge connecting Vasco and Baina is an old structure existing for over 40 years, while the foot over-bridge connecting Vasco and Driver Hill ends up on a hillock, where there have small landslides in the past.
Social Activist Social Activist Preetam Keluskar said the foot over-bridge between Vasco and Baina was an old structure.
"This old bridge definitely needs maintenance, especially after the incident in Mumbai. The SWR must take up minor repairs on cracks or rusted iron rods,” said Keluskar.
Girish Borkar, husband of MMC Councillor Rochana Borkar, who was instrumental in getting the SWR to take up immediate strengthening of the foot overbridge between Vasco and Driver hull after a small landslide in the recent past, said a retaining wall must be taken up immediately before monsoons below the base of the foot over-bridge as a safety measure.
"In the last monsoon, we had faced a situation where the base of the foot over-bridge between Vasco and Driver hill had begun losing mud as it is built on a hillock.”
“We immediately took up the matter with the Railways and they, in turn, immediately placed many sand bags as a temporary measure to prevent erosion. However this cannot be a permanent solution and we had demanded a retaining wall at the base, which they have assured," said Borkar.
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Rlys to undertake work
on 2 foot over-bridges

VASCO: Railways officials have said a foot overbridge between Vasco and Baina would be rebuilt, while retaining walls will also be built at the overbridge connecting Drivers Hill and Vasco.
When contacted, South Western Railway (SWR) officials informed that the safety of people had always been a top priority and that, SWR had already put up proposals for the two Vasco foot overbridges, which would be taken up shortly.
"Both foot overbridges under the Vasco Railway station are well maintained and we do undertake small minor works as and when required,” Junior Engineer Elisha N Gudipeti said.
“However, considering the large number of people using both foot overbridges on a daily basis and their safety, we have already put up proposals and works on them will also begin soon.”
“We are demolishing the iron foot overbridge between Vasco and Baina and completely building a new concrete foot overbridge and we are also going to have a retaining wall at the base of the foot overbridge between Vasco and Drivers Hill within two months, prior to monsoons. We have always maintained that safety of people is our top priority," said Gudipeti.  

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