A month after the stampede on the foot over-bridge at Elphinstone Road railway station killed 23, the Indian Army has been roped in to rebuild the foot over-bridge. The development received a severe backlash from people who had the unpopular opinion that it is the duty of the civic bodies and railways—not the army—to perform civic duties.
To silence those who had believed that it is the inefficiency of Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Ministry of Railways to construct the bridge, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that BMC and railway officials will be sent to protect the borders alongside the Border Security Forces (BSF).
On Tuesday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced that the Indian Army will be assisting in building the damaged foot overbridge at Elphinstone railway station. “There are a lot of potholes in Mumbai. On the army’s visit to build the foot overbridge, I will also ask them to fill the potholes so that the people of Mumbai, including BMC officials, can breathe a sigh of relief,” he said.
The BMC officials, who will be sent to the borders, are now contemplating whether there is a strong Red FM signal at the border. “BMC workers will need to listen to Red FM at the borders. What if, tomorrow, a radio jockey highlights the apathy of the residents of Mumbai due to poor administration on part of the civic body? Without a healthy signal at the border, how will we know that we have to personally target her/him and abuse power?” asked Vishwanath Mahadeshwar, the Mayor of Mumbai.
Meanwhile, BSF officers have congratulated the army officers who will be building the foot over-bridge at Elphinstone Road railway station. “At borders, we don’t get proper food and when we complain about it, we are suspended. At least those who are going to Mumbai can eat vadapav when they want,” said a BSF officer at the request of anonymity.