Crowds swell at Dadar with one FOB less

Smooth passage: RPF and GRF personnel guiding commuters at Dadar station on Wednesday.

Smooth passage: RPF and GRF personnel guiding commuters at Dadar station on Wednesday.  

Dismantling to take months; 15 RPF, 15 GRP staff deployed to manage commuters

Crowds at Dadar railway station increased on Wednesday following the closure of the southernmost foot overbridge (FOB). The FOB was shut by the Western Railway on Tuesday night as the bridge had been red-flagged during a joint inspection by IIT Bombay and railway officials in the aftermath of the Andheri bridge collapse.

Commuters were surprised to see a barricade at the entrance to the FOB. The worst-affected were those on platform number 4, which serves fast trains to Churchgate, and is narrower than other platforms at the southern end.

Pankaj Wagh, a regular commuter from Dadar, who works in Vidyavihar, said, “It is very inconvenient as we have to rely on other FOBs. Hence commute will become difficult.”

Commuters also wondered as to why the bridge had to be closed just at the onset of monsoon.

Prashant Pai, a marketing professional and a Dadar resident, said the situation on Wednesday was still tolerable, but he is worried about the rainy season.

“The crowd on the other bridges will increase and it may lead to an Elphinstone Road like stampede. The authorities should take a cue from Ghatkopar station, which is connected to the Metro, and try to implement it in Dadar,” Mr. Pai said.

However, some feel it is better to be safe than sorry. “It is inconvenient, but it is better that they dismantle the bridge and construct a new one. The bridge had anyway become weak and has been declared unfit,” Amit Purandare, a resident of Borivali, said.

During the joint inspection, the FOB was found to have heavy corrosion. “It will take around two to three months to dismantle the FOB and at least six months to rebuild the new one. The monsoon may hamper the pace of the work. Requisite number of security personnel have been deployed at the station to manage the crowd,” Ravinder Bhakar, chief public relations officer, WR, said.

As many as 15 personnel from the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and 15 Government Railway Police staff have been deployed for crowd management.

“We have put in place a plan according to commuter movements at the station and have earmarked exit points for quick evacuation. Our personnel will be equipped with megaphones to make announcements in cases of emergency,” an RPF official said.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 3:10:49 AM |

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