<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal wants railway engineers from all 17 Indian Railway zones to visit Mumbai to see the work done by the Indian Army in constructing Foot-Over-Bridges (FOB) at Elphinstone Road, Currey Road and Ambivili stations, once completed. The minister wants the railway engineers to learn how to carry out work in crisis situations and under time constraints. “I have ordered that railway staff, especially from the engineering department from all 17 zones across Indian Railways will learn how to work under challenging circumstances. I have asked them to visit the three sites and learn from it once the work on FOB is ready,” said Goyal.The minister said this after inspecting the work on the foot-over-bridge that the Army is constructing at Elphinstone Road, following the stampede on an FOB at the station. Goyal said the reason he involved the Army is because he wanted to show the railway engineers how to tackle emergency situations. “The railways depend on contractors as they do not have their own manpower, unlike the Army,” added Goyal. The FOBs at all three locations are expected to be ready before the January 31 deadline set. The Army is expected to start work at Elphinstone on extending the FOB connecting Parel and Elphinstone Road stations by December 5, by when the girders will come in and shall be stored at the Kalyan carshed. Work on an entirely new 12-meter wide FOB connecting the two stations too will also begin soon, for which tendering and designing work is complete.Meanwhile work on an additional staircase on the FOB at Elphinstone Road, on which 23 people lost lives is already underway. They have placed metal sheet on which stairs will be built. “It will be widened and made ready by December 31,” said Ravinder Bhakar, Chief PRO, Western Railway.The elevated booking office there too will be demolished. Out of the five ticket windows, four have been shut down, three ATVMs have been made available and porta cabins allotted below for issuing local train tickets.The Army has assigned one platoon – comprising 50 army men – at each of the three stations of Elphinstone Road, Currey Road and Ambivali for carrying out the construction work. At Currey Road, there is a 180 sq meters plot belonging to a private owner who has not transferred it to the Army, BMC or Railways for carrying out work on the FOB. The cost of this land is around Rs 4 crore, that shall be given to the private company who owns it. Goyal, who visited Elphinstone Road and Currey Road stations on Monday afternoon, asked the authorities to buy out a MHADA building outside Currey Road station so that the plot can be taken over for landing of the FOB that will be constructed. The minister also wants the Railways and BMC to connect the FOBs with skywalks for faster access.
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