Elphinstone Road stampede: New bridge, sanctioned by Railways in 2015, could have saved several lives

Twenty-two people lost their lives in a stampede on a narrow foot-over bridge connecting the Elphinstone Road and Parel railway stations in Mumbai on Friday, and the tragedy directed attention to the infrastructural inadequacies and administrative apathy towards such complaints in the past.

The tragedy struck around peak rush hour in Mumbai's Elphinstone Road area, where several corporate offices are located. However, it emerged that Shiv Sena MP from South Mumbai, Arvind Sawant, had complained about the narrow foot-over bridge over two years ago, and had even written a letter to then railway minister Suresh Prabhu. In his letter, Sawant brought the Railways' attention to the state of the Elphinstone Road station, and demanded an overhaul of the bridge.

Reacting to Sawant's letter, the Railways had assured that a new foot-over bridge to connect Mumbai's Western and Central lines is "under positive consideration".

This had come with a letter dated 20 February, 2016, and Sawant also released an advertisement saying this.

 Elphinstone Road stampede: New bridge, sanctioned by Railways in 2015, could have saved several lives

An advertisement released by Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant. Firstpost

According to CNN-News18, the Railways had then cleared the construction of a new bridge, even sanctioning Rs 11.8 crore to this end.

The new bridge was to be constructed to the north end of the station, and would be 12 metres wide. The bridge, if it had been constructed on time, could have saved several lives.

Suresh Prabhu1

It's not known why the project never took off, or what the current status of the bridge is.

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra state government announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to families of the dead and free medical treatment to the injured.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Sep 29, 2017 19:53:32 IST