'Is this Army's Job?' Asks Twitter as govt seeks army's help to build Elphinstone bridge

Here's how Twitter reacted to government's move to take army's help in building overbridge at Elphinstone road station

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday, October 31, announced that the Indian army will be roped in to build three foot-over bridges in Mumbai, including the one at the Elphinstone Road Railway station.

Fadnavis, who visited the Elphinstone Road Station with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said,

We have sought the help of Indian Defence forces in building the alternative bridge at the station. We will also make additional bridges at stations including Ambivali and Currey Road railway stations on the Central Railway in Mumbai in the same period.

The new bridge will be constructed by the military’s engineering wing and will be ready for use by the end of February 2018.  The government’s move comes a month after the stampede that led to the death of 23 people at the overcrowded Elphinstone Road Station on September 29. Underlining the urgency of the matter, Sitaraman said, “A call was taken to cooperate seeing urgency of the matter as Army has its role at the borders.”

I wanted to know the army’s view. We know that the army rushes to places where there are natural disasters…This is probably for the first time the Army was asked to come in to build what could otherwise be called civil work, but the Elphinstone tragedy was so big.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal also posted a tweet thanking the defence minister for ‘coming to the aid of the nation’

“#MumbaiThanksArmy for coming to the aid of the Nation. Grateful to RM @nsitharaman for immediately responding to our call for help.”


However, the Maharashtra government’s decision has invited the ire of the opposition and faced criticism on social media. Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, a former army man himself, criticised the move to deploy army for civilian work.

He tweeted,

Maharashtra Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam also vented his ire over government’s move.

Former Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also noted that the army should have been the “last resort” unless it was the case of “extreme emergency”. He tweeted,

Taking swipe at the Centre, Shiv Sena leader A Sawant said,

Jumla aur drama banane mein unka (BJP) koi haath nahi pakad sakta (One cannot compete with the BJP in rhetorics and drama)

The angst was also visible on Twitter with many social media users slamming the government’s move.