The Centre and Maharashtra government were severely criticised on Tuesday after they said the Indian Army will reconstruct the foot overbridge at Mumbai’s Elphinstone Road Station, where 23 people died in a stampede on September 29.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said the Army will rebuild the structure at the Elphinstone Road Station and two other bridges in Mumbai.
“The Indian Army’s job is to train for war, not to be used for civilian works,” Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Twitter. “Don’t divert defence resources to civilian jobs.”
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said the Army was supposed to be called in as a last resort at times of emergencies. “Now, it seems like it is the first number on speed dial,” he said.
Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam said: “Calling the Army to make a bridge in Mumbai underlines the failure of the corrupt Shiv Sena-ruled Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. Hope the Army will not be asked to fill potholes here.”