Hancock Bridge woes continue to plague Sandhurst Road residents

Hancock Bridge woes continue to plague Sandhurst Road residents
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Sandhurst Road – Hancock bridge located between suburban railway stations of Sandhurst Road and Byculla was demolished in 2016. There is no scope of the redevelopment of the bridge.

History of one of the oldest bridge dates back in the British era. The bridge was built in the year 1879. It was named after Colonel H. F. Hancock. The bridge was rebuilt in 1923. Demolition of the bridge was planned in 2014, in order to facilitate the conversion of railway electrification along the Central Line of the Mumbai Suburban Railway from 1,500 - volt DC to 25,000 – volt AC. It took almost 19 hours to demolish the bridge. 42 express train and 100 local trains were cancelled. Thousands of locals have to cross the railway track rather than take an alternative route which is very long since the bridge has been razed.

Accidents are on the rise after post demolition. BMC and Railways had assured that they would come up with a temporary solution but to people’s dismay, there is no sign of temporary construction. The harbour line, as well as the central line Sandhurst road station, have one common exit and entrance. Foot over the bridge (FOB) was demanded by the protestors but there is a conflict between railways and BMC.

BMC states that to construct a foot over bridge replacing Hancock bridge it will take 18 months. While Railways stated that FOB would be used by pedestrians and not just the commuters who travel by train.

Bombay High Court has directed the state and Centre to come up with a practical solution for the construction of temporary overbridge across railway tracks.

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