Mumbai News: Sion ROB’s Demolition Stalled Again, This Time Considering Maharashtra Board Examinations

Mumbai: The Central Railway in Mumbai has once again decided to postpone the demolition of the British-era Sion rail overbridge due to ongoing Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exams.

Originally scheduled to commence on Tuesday night, the demolition was first postponed from January 20 due to concerns raised by local residents and MP Rahul Shewale regarding potential traffic disruptions.

The decision to postpone the demolition until after the board exam, HSC ending on March 19 and SSC on March 26 was made to minimize disruption to students. Mumbai traffic police joint commissioner also raised concerns about the inconvenience the bridge’s closure could cause students.

Importance Of Sion Bridge

Built in 1912, the bridge has served as a vital link connecting Dharavi, Lal Bahadur Shastri (LBS) Marg and the Eastern Express Highway for over a century. Its impending closure is expected to disrupt east-west traffic flow, leading to potential congestion on alternative routes, such as the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road. Motorists will need to reroute through Kurla, connecting the Eastern Expressway and LBS Marg.

Demolition & Reconstruction Plan

The demolition process, expected to span six months, will be followed by an 18-month reconstruction period. This initiative aims to create space for laying tracks for the fifth and sixth lines, thereby enhancing the efficiency of mail and suburban train services with dedicated tracks. The combined efforts of the railway and the BMC are projected to incur a cost of Rs50 crore.

Safety concerns were highlighted in an audit report by the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) in April 2020. The report declared the Sion bridge unsafe due to deteriorating structural components, particularly the first two I-girders from the north side, the RCC deck slab and the RCC parapet wall.

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