Army isn't for constructing bridge: Defence experts

ANI | Updated: Nov 01, 2017 06:12 IST

Nagpur/Dehradun [India], Nov. 1 (ANI): The defence experts on Wednesday criticised the Maharashtra government's decision to rope in the Indian Army to construct a bridge in Mumbai's Elphinstone Road train station, where 23 people were killed in a stampede last month.

Speaking to ANI, defence expert Shiwali Deshpande said that the work of army is to defend the border and not construct a bridge.

"The army of the country is there to defend its border from external aggression and the present statement which our defence minister has given that the construction of foot-over bridge of Mumbai has to be done by the Indian Army. The work will be done meticulously and in a perfect manner. But what is the role of the Indian Army. Is the Indian Army made to do all these jobs? What is the PWD department doing? The work of the army is to secure the borders and not to get into all this petty things. What are the government departments are doing? This is not the work of Indian Army and we should respect them", she said.

She further said that the Indian Army is the last resort and shouldn't be made the first resort.

Defence expert Brigadier Govind Sisodia also echoed the similar views and said, "This is not a right decision because here there is no emergency here. The Indian Army's resources and manpower should be used at a time of emergency or when there is question of national security. Involving army in construction work will divert them from their training."

Earlier on Tuesday, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the army will build the new foot-over-bridge at Elphinstone Station.

Sitharaman cited that as Elphinstone tragedy was so big, a call was taken to cooperate, seeing urgency of the matter.

Earlier, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis also informed that the army will help construct three bridges, including the Elphinstone Bridge, which will be completed by January 31. (ANI)