Mumbai: Work of Hancock bridge to start soon, BMC to appoint new contractor

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Construction of a new bridge replacing the demolished Hancock bridge in Byculla may start soon as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has received respite from the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has given permission to carry out construction of new bridge with a new contractor owing to trouble face by motorists and pedestrians.

A proposal regarding this will be tabled in the civic standing committed for approval, said an official from the Bridge department of BMC.

Earlier, the construction of new bridge was put on hold following Bombay High Court’s order. BMC had reportedly awarded contract for construction of four bridges including the Hancock Bridge to a contractor blacklisted for carrying out shoddy road works of the BMC. After the High Court stay, the contractor approached Supreme Court. However, the Supreme Court has allowed BMC to appoint new contractor for the work.

It is almost one and half years since the 135-year-old Hancock bridge was demolished in November 2015. The British-era bridge near Sandhurst Road railway station was deemed dangerous by the CR in 2013 and was demolished. The railway overbridge connected Byculla and Dadar.

Delay in construction of the new bridge has been creating a lot of problems for residents of three to four major areas, who have now decided to take the matter to court. Residents even formed a Hancock Bridge Nirman Committee (HBNC) and decided to approach Supreme Court for analternative bridge.

Even in March 2016, Bombay High Court had directed BMC and Railways to respond to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking arrangement for providing pedestrians an alternative mode for crossing over the railway lines after the Hancock bridge’sdemolition.

Activist Kamlakar Shenoy had filed the PIL, and had also submitted RTI reports that showed there was no specific reason to demolish the bridge. “This is good that construction of road over bridge will start soon. But, a separate foot over bridge also be constructed for pedestrians, ” said Shenoy.

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