Mumbai, Oct 31 (IANS) The opposition on Tuesday flayed the Maharashtra government’s announcement that Indian Army engineers will design and construct three foot overbridges here, with a Congress leader asking if the Army will now also fill potholes on roads.
“Calling in the Army to contruct the bridges in Mumbai underlines the failure of the BMC (BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation) ruled by corrupt Shiv Sena-BJP alliance. Hope the Army will not be asked to fill potholes here,” Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam tweeted.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, a former Army Captain, said the Army’s job was to train for war, and not to be used for civilian work.
Amarinder Singh urged Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman not to divert defence resources for civilian jobs.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said: “The Army was to be a measure of last resort to be called upon in extreme emergency. Now, it seems like it’s the first on the speed dial.”
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced on Tuesday that Army engineers will build the overbridges on the Elphinstone Road, Currey Road and Ambivali stations of the Mumbai suburban railway network by January 31.
Earlier, the Army helped construct a foot overbridge during the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games when an under-construction bridge outside Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the main venue for the event, collapsed days before the games were to start. The new bridge was built within five days.
The Army was also involved in making pontoon bridges across the Yamuna last year when a World Culture Festival was organised on the flood plains of the river by the Art of Living group. Involving the Army for the private event was criticised by many.
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