28 footbridges will be built to help commuters end dangerous practice of crossing tracks.
MUMBAI: Nine Mumbaikars die in track-related tragedies every day, with about half of the incidents resulting from trespassing. Now, rail planners have launched a Rs 200-crore effort to make train corridors safer through a series of new footbridges and elevated pathways.
Under the ‘Mid-section Trespass Control Project’, 28 footbridges, including two extensions, and seven linkways (pathways leading to skywalks) will be built across Main, Harbour and Western Lines by May 2020 next year. The new structures will come up at spots where a high number of commuters risk their life by crossing tracks. The project, as the name suggests, will focus particularly on stretches between two stations.
Eight footbridges will be constructed in the CST-Titwala section, seven between Kalyan and Karjat, four in the Churchgate-Virar section, and nine on the Harbour Line, according to according to a senior officer of Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC), which planned the project.
The tenders for nine footbridges and a subway on the Harbour Line have already been awarded, and the work has begun at three places. Bids have been invited for 19 footbridges and seven linkways on Main and Western Lines.
The MRVC chairman and managing director, RS Khurana, said the corporation was aiming to start the work for all pedestrian bridges immediately after monsoon. “Right now, the technical validation of tenders for Main and Western Lines is underway. We will try to complete the process quickly,” he said. “Once atender is awarded, the contractor will have to complete the work within 21months.”
The trespass control project will be executed as part of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project 3. MRVC spokesperson Sanjay Singh said it would help reduce track-related casualties as commuters would have a safer option to get from one side to another.
MRVC believe the project will not face major hurdles because factors such as land acquisition or rehabilitation are not in play. Apart from building footbridges, a key aspect of the plan is to create linkways which will take pedestrians from FOBs to nearby skywalks. Two linkways will be constructed in the CST-Titwala section, two between Kalyan and Karjat and three in the Churchgate-Virar section.
In 2012, MRVC sought the help of JJ School of Architecture to identify killer spots on Mumbai’s train networks. Based on the study’s findings, it implemented measures at 12 stations to reduce trespassing. Kanjurmarg, Thane, Kalyan, Thakurli, Kurla, Dadar, Kandivali, Borivali, Bhayandar, Vasai Road, and Nallasopara were among the stations.
“After positive feedback about the measures, we decided to implement a larger project focusing on the stretches between two stations,” an official said