Mumbai: Indian Army will help build a new foot overbridge at the Elphinstone Road station by 31 January, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday said as union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal visited the station, where a deadly stampede took place last month.

Fadnavis, who accompanied defence minister Sitharaman and railway minister Goyal, said the army will also help in building foot overbridges at two other stations here. Sitharaman said it was probably the “first time that the Army will come in to build in what could otherwise be called civil work".

Twenty three people were killed in a stampede on the crowded foot overbridge (FOB) at the Elphinstone Road station here last month. Speaking to reporters at the venue, Fadnavis said, “We are taking the Army’s help in building a new FOB at the Elphinstone Road station and at two other suburban train stations in Mumbai".

“I have been informed that the work on these bridges will be completed by 31 January," he said. Sitharaman said, “This is probably the first time we have asked the Army to come in to build what could otherwise be called a civil work, but Elphinstone tragedy was so big."

“A call was taken to cooperate seeing the urgency of the matter as the Army has its role at the borders. The Army has come and seen, inspected and assessed where the bridge is going to be built, they will be there at every stage of the work," she said.

After the stampede on 29 September, railway officials posted police personnel to manage the crowd on busy platforms, evicted hawkers from suburban train stations and started speeding up infrastructure projects on suburban network.

Goyal had earlier this month announced a slew of measures for the safety of commuters with a focus on foot overbridges (FOBs) in the country. He had said the FOBs would now be “mandatory" at all stations. Previously, only the first FOB at a railway station was considered essential and the subsequent a passenger amenity.

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