On September 29, 23 people lost their lives in a stampede at Elphinstone Road. Post outrage, Indian Army was roped in to build the foot overbridges. Not only three FOBs — those constructed by the Bombay Engineering Group of Indian Army is ready — but the Central and Western Railways together have built 17 FOBs in the same period.On Tuesday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Union Railway and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Defence Dr Subhash Bhamre inaugurated the three FOBs. The inaugural plaque at Elphinstone Road was unveiled by flower vendor Shivraj Konde, plaque of Currey Road FOB was unveiled by dabbawalla Sopan More and the third plaque of Ambivali FOB was unveiled by fish vendor Lata Koli.“For the first time the Indian Army was approached to construct bridges for civilians and they completed it in record time. We intend to ease the difficulties faced by Mumbaikars for whom the suburban system is their lifeline. Its process has begun today,” said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.The three FOBs were readied in 117 days by the Army at a cost of Rs 18 crore in totality. Sources said that the Railways will pay them Rs 13 crore and in lieu of remaining Rs 5 crore, they shall build girders and other parts of three-and-half bridges and hand it over to the Army, which were brought from the war-front. The Bombay Engineers Group of Indian Army took 2 hours block most of the night during the three months for the work and once each for a 8-hour mega block towards the end. Meanwhile the Railways completed work on 17 FOBs across the Mumbai suburban between October and February. “By June, we will be completing work on 22 more FOB and in the next one year 56 FOBs will be constructed on both CR and WR. This would include time taken to call for tenders and finish work,” said Piyush Goyal, Union Railway and Coal Minister.Incidentally on Twitter, #MumbaiThanksArmy became a top trend with several government handles including PIB using it. There was lot of questions raised when Nirmala Sitharaman said that Army would help in reconstruction of the bridges. Many wondered whether it indicated the failure of the civil administration that army has to be roped in. However, the government refused to pay any attention to such criticism and now that Army has done the job in record time, it can be said that government’s decision has been vindicated. As we can see in the pictures, commoners reached out to the Army men and congratulated them on a job well done. With ANI inputs

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See Pics: Mumbaikars thank Army after inauguration of newly constructed FOBs