The Mumbai Police on Friday filed a First Information Report blaming the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for Thursday’s collapse of a foot overbridge in Mumbai, which killed six people, Loksatta reported. The police said Railways were not responsible after the corporation agreed that the maintenance of the bridge came under its jurisdiction and not the Railways’.
The police filed the FIR within hours of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis instructing the Mumbai Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta to fix “primary responsibility” for the incident by Friday evening. Mehta has ordered the vigilance department to submit a preliminary report within 24 hours, identifying the municipal staff and structural auditor responsible for the incident. The bridge was declared “fit to use” in a structure audit report submitted six months ago by the municipal corporation, The Indian Express reported.
On Thursday, hours after the collapse of the bridge, Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Deven Bharati had said the police have registered a case of causing death by negligence against concerned officials of both the municipal corporation and the Railways. This had prompted the Congress to call for Railways Minister Piyush Goyal’s resignation.
Meanwhile, Ward Officer Kiran Dighawkar said work on dismantling the bridge has started and cranes and gas-cutters have been assembled for the work. “We aim to open DN Road for vehicular traffic by 7 pm Friday,” PTI quoted him as saying.
The foot overbridge, which collapsed around 7.30 pm, connects the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus with the Azad Maidan police station. It is also called “Kasab bridge” as Ajmal Kasab, one of the terrorists who struck Mumbai in November 2008, had used it during the attacks. The bridge, which is three decades old, is also close to the BMC office.
More people were not affected as, according to a witness, a nearby traffic signal was red. As a result, several motorists were waiting and were saved when the overbridge collapsed.