The Bombay High Court said the Central Railways (CR) and the BMC should soon come up with a solution for the construction of a foot overbridge (FoB) in Byculla here, saying the common man could not be expected to suffer.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by a city resident which said ever since the Hancock Bridge was demolished in November 2015, pedestrians and suburban rail commuters had no option but to cross the tracks between Sandhurst road and Byculla stations to reach either side.
The plea highlighted the rise in instances of deaths of pedestrians and rail passengers, who were forced to walk across the railway tracks at Sandhurst road in the absence of an alternate bridge.
A bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice MS Sonak said the CR and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) should come up with a solution soon.
The bench also summoned the railway chief engineer concerned on the next date of hearing, and said the officer must come prepared to inform the court of a plausible solution, a projected plan for an alternate or new FOB, rough estimates for the project etc.
The court had earlier directed the BMC to seek the help and expertise of the Army “by way of last resort” for the construction of the temporary structure.
On Wednesday, the corporation informed the court that consulting the Army for ideas was a “cumbersome process considering the requisite permissions to contact them” and it had also communicated to the Union government its need for such a sanction.
Earlier this year, following a site inspection and joint meeting between the railways and the BMC, the railways had submitted that it was not feasible to construct even a temporary FoB at the site because a water pipeline ran very close to the proposed site.
The BMC told HC that while it was “ready to fund the construction of a new FoB and provide the land for the same, the railways was still reluctant to take up the construction work”.
The high court, however, said, “The common man could not be expected to suffer and a solution must be arrived at, at the earliest.”