Mr Kulmeet Bawa
August 29, 2022
Fill in your answers below
April 25, 2023
It is rightly said,
“Bridges symbolize change and flexibility! They show us this simple philosophy: When you are on one side, you can easily move to the other side!”
Mehmet Murat ildan
It is my first tryst with Mumbai, the tinsel town and the city of dreams. As I walk past the streets of this city, the experience is surreal — the air of Mumbai has hopes. My motive is to visit the recently-reopened Himalaya foot-over bridge (FOB) near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminal. The idea is to see how the picture around this bridge has changed over the last few years after its tragic collapse in 2019. I am now walking on this bridge and can experience the spirit of Mumbai. As I talk to the commuters, they say, “Everything has changed, yet all remains the same.”
The much-talked-about Himalaya bridge is a testament to the above quote by Mehmet. Since its inception some three decades ago, it has withstood the test of time and has become an integral part of the city’s landscape. It provides pedestrians the convenience to cross from one part of the city to another. Therefore, the tragedy of the Himalaya bridge collapse shook the city. As per news reports, there were six casualties and a dozen injuries. But the collapse also brought out the best in its citizens. The people of Mumbai rallied together to help the victims, with volunteers risking their own lives to rescue those who were trapped.
Now that the bridge is opened again, the hope of so many is back. While talking to a journalist friend, Rituparna Ghosh, who has been in Mumbai for a while now, she said, “The Himalaya bridge is located at the prime location. It is surrounded by India’s leading publishing agencies, a renowned college, and a significant heritage building in Mumbai. The bridge is an important landmark in the city’s infrastructure. Now that the bridge is functioning again, commuters heave a sigh of relief.”
The newly-opened bridge is made up of stainless steel supplied by Jindal Stainless. The stainless steel is cost-effective, corrosion-resistant, Research Designs and Standards Organisation-approved, and suitable for coastal infrastructure. The infrastructure in coastal areas is usually marred by a corrosion-prone environment, rising pollution levels, and negligible maintenance. Jindal Stainless specifically designed a grade for its construction that ensures long-term durability, with a projected service life of approximately 100 years, and requires minimal maintenance. Hence, it lowers the life cycle cost and carbon footprint, making it a more cost-effective and eco-friendly solution.
The bridge is more than just a structure that connects two parts of the city – it is a symbol of resilience, strength, and hope. After it underwent a complete overhaul, it was renovated with the latest technology and safety features, including high-strength material such as stainless steel and sensors that monitor the structural integrity of the bridge in real time.
As I make my way across the bridge, I hear the sounds of Mumbai all around me. The honking of cars and the chatter of people create a cacophony of noise that is uniquely Mumbai. But amidst the chaos, there is a sense of order and harmony. The sounds of the city blend together to create a symphony that is both beautiful and awe-inspiring. It takes me back to my school days when I used to read about Mumbai. I see some schoolchildren laughing and playing, they are headed to their school on this sunny day. Their presence is again a testament to the resilience of the people of Mumbai. They refused to be cowed down by tragedy, and instead, turned it into an opportunity to build a better, safer future.
Walking on the bridge is an experience unlike any other. From the top of the bridge, one can see the bustling city below and feel the cool breeze on their face. The view of the trains rushing by is both awe-inspiring and humbling, reminding us of the power of technology and human ingenuity. The Himalaya bridge is more than just a means of transportation. It is a place where people from all walks of life come together. Students rush to catch their trains, office-goers hurry to make it to work on time, and at times tourists stop to take pictures of the view. The bridge is always bustling with energy and activity as it is one of the most crowded public places in Mumbai.
The moment I step off the bridge, I feel a sense of pride and gratitude for the people of Mumbai who refused to give up in the face of tragedy. The new bridge stands as a reminder that no matter how dark the present may seem, there’s always a brighter and stainless future waiting for us.