Sena MP Arvind Sawant had asked for new foot over bridge at Elphinstone in 2016

Sena MP Arvind Sawant had asked for new foot over bridge at Elphinstone in 2016

By: || Updated: 29 Sep 2017 06:25 PM

Sawant said he has raised the issue of local commuters' plight from time to time in Parliament. "I have repeatedly requested railway officials to look into the issue, but nothing has happened till now." Photo: Facebook

NEW DELHI: Had the Railway ministry harkened to the demands of Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant, who had raised the concern that the foot-over-bridge at Elphinstone Road is incapable of bearing the burden of passengers, Friday's tragedy could have been averted.

A massive crowd of morning commuters stampeded on the stairwell of a narrow FOB at Elphinstone Road, leaving at least 22 people dead and more than 30 injured.

Sawant in February 2016 had informed the Railway Ministry about the poor condition of the FOB at Elphinstone station. He had requested that a new 12m wide foot-over-bridge should be constructed but the Railways didn't act.

The then Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, in a letter dated 20 February, 2016, had written to Sawant that the construction of 12m wide new foot over bridge at Elphinstone Road was under the “positive consideration” of Railway Ministry.

"Most of the requests which are received reflect the genuine needs and demands of the people and it is always our endeavour to agree to many requests as possible. However, sometimes due to the paucity of finances, operational constraints or other compelling circumstances agreeing to the request may not be possible," the letter stated.



The Shiv Sena said that Friday's stampede "is a public massacre for which the government and railways are responsible".

Sawant said he has raised the issue of local commuters' plight from time to time in Parliament. "I have repeatedly requested railway officials to look into the issue, but nothing has happened till now."

"Suresh Prabhu, as railway minister, had announced elevated railway tracks. Where are they?" he asked.

The Shiv Sena MP said several foot overbridges are in poor shape, but nothing is being done to improve their condition.

Sawant said instead of focusing on the high-speed rail project, the government should work towards providing basic infrastructure at stations and put in place a mechanism to control crowd.

(With inputs from PTI)

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