The newly built foot overbridges outside Marine Lines railway station will get new tiles as the old ones would keep popping up and breaking regularly. mid-day has been highlighting the sorry state of the connectors and though the BMC refitted the tiles every time reports were published, a permanent solution may now be imminent. The work will be completed within a month.
The two FOBs at Marine Lines, one at the north end and the other linked to Chandanwadi crematorium, were among eight bridges that were declared dangerous soon after the Himalaya bridge collapsed in March 2019, claiming seven lives.
In June 2019, the BMC awarded the contract to reconstruct the two FOBs at the cost of R4.35 crore, which was 33 per cent more than the estimated cost of R3.27 crore. While the structures were to be ready in 18 months, excluding the monsoon season, the contractor finished it last year, on May 31. Thousands of passengers use the FOBs to cross the busy road outside Marine Lines station. The crematorium lane connects with commercial areas like Dawa Bazar, Bhuleshwar and Kalbadevi.
Within two months of their opening, the tiles of the slab and staircase of the bridges started coming out. mid-day first wrote about the situation in August. While the civic body repaired the structures immediately, tiles on other parts of the bridges started coming out every now and then.
This year, the tiles were impacted by the first heavy shower in July. mid-day reported on the matter on July 9 and then on July 26. Tiles at the same spot got dislodged within a fortnight. After mid-day kept following up on the issue, a BMC official said all the tiles would be replaced after the monsoon.
BMC kept its promise and has been replacing vitrified tiles with granite ones. “The tiles were good but they were meant for indoor use. Earlier we used them on a few FOBs and the results were good, but those bridges have roofs. As the bridges at Marine Lines lack roofs, the tiles come out after heavy rainfall. We decided not to use such tiles on other FOBs also,” said a BMC official.
He added, “We started working on one bridge and it will be completed within two weeks. Then the work of replacing tiles on the other bridge will start. The contractor is replacing the tiles at no extra cost as the bridge is under the defect liability period.”