Mumbai, (The HIndu): A foot overbridge (FOB) at old Octroi Naka near Mankhurd collapsed around 3.30 p.m. on Sunday after a crane being used by the Public Works Department (PWD) to dismantle the bridge toppled over.
No injuries were reported, but traffic towards Mumbai came to a standstill after vehicles were diverted via Airoli after taking a U-turn. Motorists then started driving on the wrong side of the road, which caused heavy congestion on Vashi flyover, between Centre One Mall and Vashi toll naka.
Executive engineer Kishore Patil from PWD said, “Around a year ago, the FOB was damaged after a container rammed into it. We had removed the damaged part, and the rest was to be removed on Sunday. We chose the afternoon for the work as there is less traffic. While trying to dismantle the FOB, the crane lost balance and fell over. Now we have three cranes, of which two will dismantle the FOB and one will remove the first crane.”
Could have been avoided
The Navi Mumbai traffic police, meanwhile, said the incident could have been avoided if the PWD had discussed the operation with them beforehand. Senior police inspector Satish Gaikwad with Vashi traffic police said, “We were intimated about the work only around 12.30 p.m. on Sunday, and that traffic should be halted or diverted for sometime. By 12.45 p.m., the work had started, which they said would take around half an hour.”
The Navi Mumbai police said they would have suggested to the PWD to take up the work either late at night or early in morning. “Though the work was in Mumbai jurisdiction, we are the sufferers as the traffic chaos happened here. We would have also suggested the number of cranes that would be needed for the work. How can one crane remove such a heavy FOB? Being a Sunday, it was also difficult to get through to the officers concerned to coordinate,” a police official said.
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