Pay for repair of two FOBs used to enter stadium, else will dismantle: WR to MCA

Indian Express

Indian Express

Author 2019-10-18 04:42:50

Indian Express 18 Oct 2019 02:12 AM

These two FOBs cater to half of North Stand, Sunil Gavaskar Stand (East Stand) and Vittal Divecha stand. More than 10,000 fans use these bridges while coming to watch any international or IPL game at the stadium.

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THE WESTERN Railway (WR) has written to the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) saying that two foot over bridges (FOB) used by pedestrians to enter the Wankhede Stadium would be dismantled by next year if it does not pay for their repair.

These two FOBs cater to half of North Stand, Sunil Gavaskar Stand (East Stand) and Vittal Divecha stand. More than 10,000 fans use these bridges while coming to watch any international or IPL game at the stadium.

The WR had sent the letter to the MCA two weeks ago, informing the cricketing body that the two bridges are too dangerous for use and must be dismantled to prevent a disaster.

The MCA, however, claimed to have spent Rs 2 crore to get the FOBs renovated only two years ago. Though the bridges come under WR, the MCA has taken care of its maintenance for 10 years. On Thursday, MCA president Vijay Patil and vice-president Amol Kale held a meeting with apex members of the organisation on the issue.  It is learnt that the MCA will approach Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in this regard.

“In 2017, MCA had spent Rs 2 crore from its own pocket on the two bridges and ensured that proper safety procedures are followed. We are
surprised by this letter from Western Railway,” an MCA official told The Indian Express. Another official said that if these two FOBs are dismantled, commuting will be a big issue during any game held at the stadium. The MCA has the capacity to accommodate more than 32,000 people and these two bridges are the only way one can travel from the east to the west of the stadium.

“People’s mobility will become a big issue during any international or IPL game. These bridges also help in evacuating the spectators without much hassle. Imagine a situation where these two bridges do not exist… it will put more pressure on other entry and exit points,” said another official. When contacted, Ravindra Bhakar, the Chief Public Relation Officer of WR, said, “These two FOBs were found dilapidated after a structural audit conducted by experts. Both FOBs are being used to enter Wankhede stadium. We have asked for funds from the Mumbai Cricket Association so that these can be repaired. If it can’t pay, we will dismantle them by 2020.”

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