Repair of All Bridges in Mumbai Immediately, Publicise Details to Fix Responsibility

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This chalta hai attitude does not chalo-fy! How much more blood needs to be spilled before authorities in Mumbai take concrete action to prevent more bridge from collapsing?

Systemic apathy has led to the deaths of 6 more innocent people on 14th March. Those people were just like the rest of us: hard-working Mumbaikars, returning home from a hard day’s work when the foot overbridge (FOB) near the iconic Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) railway station came crashing down.

Sign my petition to fix this broken system.

This mishap, as it is being called, is the sixth involving bridges in my city in the last 2 years. My blood ran cold when I heard the news as it reminded me of the disaster at Elphinstone station in 2017. The tragedy that could have ended my life had I not taken a day off from work by a lucky fluke.

All those memories from two years ago came flashing back as I watched the TV news showing live visuals from CSMT. I remembered how I had frantically called everyone I knew to ensure that they are safe. One of my teammates said she had crossed the bridge just minutes before the stampede broke out at Elphinstone. 22 people were killed, and 40 others were injured that day. This incident left a deep impact on me because it was the bridge I walked on every day.

When I see yet another bridge collapsing in my city and endangering so many lives, it makes me ask what authorities have been doing after the last such incident to make us all feel safer.

I was astonished to learn that the FOB at CSMT had been declared fit for use after minor repairs by the civic body BMC’s structural safety audit report 6 months earlier. How was the snag not detected by the BMCs experts?

According to the media, the bridge collapse tragedy has raised some serious questions over the safety certificate issued by the BMC and the quality of the whole survey exercise itself.

The local trains are the lifeline of Mumbai. It is impossible to get anywhere in this vast, congested city on time without taking a train. The foot overbridges are vital part of the commute to the local station for every Mumbaikar. So when accidents like this one occur, it shakes the faith of us ordinary citizens in the local train-based transport system, and this will cause create havoc in the city, especially on the roads.

We Mumbaikars are hailed for our fast-paced life and our resilience in the face of tragedy. But enough is enough! As a proud Mumbaikar who pays her taxes on time, I am going to halt for a moment and demand for better, safer infrastructure.

Sign my petition asking the Chief Minister of Maharashtra to give us a safer city by:

1. Ordering an annual audit of all 314 bridges in Mumbai
2. Appointing an independent, credible, reputed, third-party agency to conduct these thorough safety audits
3. Publicising all details of the safety audit report’s findings, recommendations, action plan, timeline for repair work and the name of the Official presiding so as to fix responsibility for timely repairs.

Sign my petition to make the government more accountable and to restore our shattered faith in the system.

Image courtesy: Mid-Day