Is the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) going back on its word? After publicly announcing that it won't be constructing any new skywalks since few people were using them, the planning authority has floated bids to extend the Bandra East skywalk so that there is another arm that connects with Bandra Railway Station.
Confirming the development to SUNDAY MiD DAY, MMRDA Joint Project Director Dilip Kawatkar said, “It is true that we have invited bids to extend the Bandra east skywalk with one arm connecting Bandra railway station but this does not mean we are constructing a new skywalk. It should also be noted that the plan to construct this additional arm is very old. We are just implementing it now.”
More importantly, bowing to public pressure, the MMRDA has finally agreed to install escalators at the Kalanagar end of the skywalk.
Sources from MMRDA said that railways had requested MMRDA to provide an additional skywalk to and from the station. The new arm will run parallel from Bandra court to Bandra railway station’s platform no 7 which is a Harbour Railway platform.
An internal study done by MMRDA in 2011 found that the skywalks of Bandra East and West, combined, had 1, 90,478 commuters footfalls in the entire year. According to MMRDA plans the extension arm will be ready by February 2014 and the planning authority will have to spend an estimated Rs 4.42 crore for the skywalk.