It is shameful that yet another pedestrian bridge has collapsed in Mumbai, this time killing six people (“6 dead as Mumbai footbridge collapses”, March 15). Despite a stampede taking place and bridges collapsing earlier, nothing much seems to have changed. It is important for the State government to pay heed to the critical issue of infrastructure. People need to be held accountable and the culprits must be brought to book. We cannot afford to lose any more lives, nor pass the buck.
The administration seems to have learnt no lessons from past incidents. This time the foot overbridge that collapsed was right near the BMC headquarters! The BMC had ordered a structural audit of all the bridges in the city after the Elphinstone bridge collapse in 2017, but it looks like even these audits cannot be trusted now.
I travelled in overcrowded Mumbai trains for over 30 years. The resilience shown by Mumbaikars needs to be seen to be believed. Broken steps could be found everywhere, and a misstep could cost one dearly. But there is no point in blaming the Railways, which is under strain and can do little to improve services. Decentralisation of infrastructure activities is the solution. Also, scant attention is paid by the government in putting in place alternative modes of transport. Why is Metro construction so slow? The government could also consider moving some commercial establishments from south Mumbai to other places, as overcrowding is a problem in that area. Overbridges cannot take more than a given load.