Mumbai: Last Sunday newly constructed footbridge in Ghatkopar area collapsed. Being a holiday and due to awareness of large section of Mumbaikars not many were using the bridge when the mishap occurred. “Otherwise casualties would have been lot higher,” said an onlooker who was thinking about using it for past two weeks.
As expected the response from BMC has been swift and on the expected lines, a high-level committee under a retired magistrate to investigate and submit a report. It has also suspended the license of the contractor till another bridge collapse and people/media forget about it.
Suspended BMC contractor, Vijay Kale however says he is innocent. He has used top quality material. No way footbridge would have collapsed so soon if it was not overused. “There are Mumbaikars who knows how to cross road by showing their palms to drivers, still they will use the footbridge for showoff,” said Mr. Kale.
It’s not the first time. In the past some of Kale’s bridges have collapsed and BMC officials have blamed him. He had installed a CCTV this time to check the number of people using it. “On Saturday more than two hundred people used it. Let the enquiry happen. I will show them the proof,” he added.
After Kale got the tender he realized not much money was coming on his way after taking care of the officials. “They only told this is for show piece, just to show public we do some work. Increase the height of the footbridge, keep each step like 1 feet high, no lights, so no one will use it,” said Mr. Kale who did the job as per the BMC engineer’s plan.
Mr. Kale knows well his suspension won’t last for long. “Before they ask me to execute their next project, soch raha hoon ki thoda Malaysia ghoom ke aajta hoon family ke saath. Next project I will fix nails on the staircase. Let these people get a lesson who bring bad name to city like Mumbai,” said Mr. Kale.